This will be a short week for traders, as U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Christian observance of Good Friday. London and Sydney will also be closed. Tokyo will be open for trading. Moreover, U.S. markets will close two hours early on Thursday.
And even though Friday is a market holiday, it will see the issuance of one non-government report of interest.
The top report of the week tracks inflation through the consumer price index, released Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
Other potential market movers are retail sales on Monday at 8:30 a.m., housing starts at 8:30 a.m. and industrial production at 9:15 a.m., both on Wednesday, and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey of economic conditions in the mid-Atlantic region on Thursday at 10 a.m.
The Federal Reserve Beige Book survey of economic conditions in each of the central bank's regions will be published at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has scheduled two public appearances. On Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. she makes opening remarks to the Atlanta Fed's Financial Market Conference. On Wednesday at 12:25 p.m. she speaks to the Economic Club of New York on the topic, "Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery".
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.
Building permits for new private homes from housing starts, at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The leading indicators report, out Friday at 10 a.m., is in itself not a leading indicator, but rather a compilation of leaders. I find it to be a useful "You Are Here" marker for the course of the economy.
Other reports of interest:
Monday: Business inventories at 10 a.m.
Tuesday: The Empire State manufacturing survey of New York state conditions at 8:30 a.m., the Treasury international capital report tracking inflows and outflows of foreign money at 9 a.m. and the Home Builders housing market index at 10 a.m.
Wednesday: Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday: The Federal Reserve money supply report at 4:30 p.m.
I also keep an eye on the Baltic Dry Index, updated daily.
Yellen aside, one other from among the Fed glitterati appears on my calendar. Fed Gov. Jeremy Stein speaks on Wednesday at the Atlanta Fed's Financial Markets Conference. Stein has resigned from the Fed effective May 28.
This week I shall be analyzing new bull and bear signals among 3,889 small-cap and larger stocks and exchange-traded funds.
By my rules, I'm trading May 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 July options for single calls and puts as well as straddles. Shares, of course, are good at any time.