Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Week Ahead: Housing starts, durable goods, turkey stuffing

U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The rest of the world, unthankfully, will be open for business.

Despite the holiday, a scattering of major reports are due for release.

Two housing starts reports, the most recent one and another from October that was delayed by the national government shutdown, will be out at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The durable goods orders report on the big, expensive stuff is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Leading indicators (in descending order of importance):

The interest rate spread between 10-year Treasuries and the federal funds rate, reported continually during market hours.

The M2 money supply, at 4:30 p.m. Friday. (It has been moved from its normal Thursday slot because of the holiday.)

The S&P 500 index, reported continually during market hours.

Average weekly initial jobless claims, at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. 

Building permits for new private homes from housing starts, at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. (Two reports, one old, one new.)

The index of consumer expectations from the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, at 10 a.m. Tuesday. (The report has been moved from its normal Friday release because of the holiday.)

Other reports of interest:

Monday: Pending home sales at 10 a.m. and the Dalas Federal Reserve Bank's manufacturing survey at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday: The S&P Case-Shiller home price index, tracking sales in 20 metro areas, at 9 a.m. and consumer confidence at 10 a.m.

Wednesday: The Chicago Purchasing Managers index at 9:45 a.m. and petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.


The glitteratti of the Federal Reserve are publicly silent this week and are no doubt preparing their holiday feasts, busily stimulating their pumpkin pies with cinnamon and cloves and preparing turkey stuffing from shredded Treasuries.

Analytical universe

This week I shall be analyzing new bull and bear signals among 2,373 stocks and exchange-traded funds that have some analyst interest. They are traded both on the major U.S. exchanges and over-the-counter. My universe is selected from mid-cap stocks and larger, defined as market capitalization of $1 billion and greater.

Trading calendar

By my rules, I'm trading December options for the short legs of vertical, diagonal and calendar spreads and covered calls, and for all legs of butterfly spreads and iron condors. I'm trading March options for single calls and puts as well as straddles. Shares, of course, are good at any time.

Good trading!

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