Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Week Ahead: Retail sales, producer prices

Two major reports punctuate the week. Retail sales on Thursday and the producer price index on Friday, each at 8:30 a.m. New York time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed how it calculates the producer price index and has posted an explainer, "Improvements to the Producer Price Index measure: the Final-Demand-Intermediate-Demand system". Quite a catchy title.

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. Thursday.

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

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

The index of consumer expectations from the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, at 9:55 a.m. Friday.

Other reports of interest:

Wednesday: Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m. and the Treasury budget at 2 p.m.

Thursday: Import and export prices at 8:30 a.m., business inventories at 10 a.m. and the Federal Reserve money supply report at 4:30 p.m.

I also keep an eye on the Baltic Dry Index, updated daily.


Fed Gov. Jerome Powell, a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, has a confirmation hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He took office in 2012 to fill a vacancy and has been nominated for a full term.

An FOMC alternate, Chicago Fed Pres. Charles Evans, makes a public appearance on Monday.

Analytical universe

This week I shall be analyzing new bull and bear signals among 3,853 small-cap and larger stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Trading calendar

By my rules, I'm trading April 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 June options for single calls and puts as well as straddles. Shares, of course, are good at any time.

Good trading.

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