This Week – Potential Fireworks from the ECB, Jobs and the Debt Ceiling
The week ahead has little in the form of corporate news to offer us, but holds the blockbuster monthly employment report and a scattering of other economic data points. The week also offers pressure building meetings at the White House, as Senate Democrats meet with the president and his economic team to discuss debt ceiling strategy. Overseas, the ECB is set to potentially hike interest rates by a quarter-point, but we’re not so sure Mr. Trichet will follow through on his threat just yet. Thus, despite the shortened week, there’s all the same potential for stock market fireworks.
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This Week – Potential Fireworks from the ECB, Jobs and the Debt Ceiling
Markets were closed in the U.S. on Monday due to the Independence Day holiday. However, in Japan, Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY.PK) and NEC held a meeting to discuss their PC joint venture.
The short week’s economic schedule started with Tuesday’s Factory Orders report for the month of May. Factory Orders rose by 0.8% in May, which was a nice turnaround after April’s 0.9% decrease. However, economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected more, with the consensus estimate set for a 1.0% gain.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde begins her service today, while Dominique Strauss-Kahn is reportedly free to travel within the United States following some questionable information about the character of his accuser. Germany’s high court held a public hearing on the Greek bailout and the EU/IMF rescue package.
Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) downgraded the debt of Portugal and Standard & Poor’s threatened to call a Greek default on the creative banking plans being tossed around by the Europeans. The U.S. Senate might vote to authorize U.S. participation in Libya for up to a year this week.
The corporate wire had Western Union (NYSE: WU) holding a conference call for its acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments. Energy Transfer Equity (NYSE: ETE) altered its offer for Southern Union (NYSE: SUG). OM Group (NYSE: OMG) had a conference call to discuss its purchase of Vacuumschmelze. The earnings schedule highlighted news from Castle Brands (AMEX: ROX).
Wednesday starts the monthly employment data parade with news on announced job-cuts and private payrolls. ADP’s survey of private nonfarm payrolls precedes the federal government’s labor report due Friday. ADP’s data is an estimate itself, so there is no economists’ consensus for the data point. However, economists surveyed by Bloomberg are looking for private nonfarm payrolls to have risen by 125K in June, which would compare against May’s increase of 83K.
Challenger Gray & Christmas offers its report on Announced Corporate Layoffs in the premarket Wednesday. Last month, Challenger’s data showed announced job-cuts at a moderate 37,135, versus 36,490 in April.
Two more reports come due before the bell rings Wednesday, including the regular data on mortgages and same-store sales. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports on weekly mortgage activity. Last week’s data showed that during the week ending June 24, mortgage activity fell by 2.7% despite moderation in contracted mortgage rates.
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Redbook report on Chain Store Sales weekly. Last week’s reports covering the period ending June 25 varied a bit. The ICSC reported that sales increased 2.9% on a week-to-week basis and 3.0% on a year-over-year comparison. Redbook showed a 2.5% year-over-year change. There’s no estimate for this week’s data.
At 10:00 AM, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) will produce its Non-Manufacturing Index for the month of June. Economists see the index at 54.0, down from the May reading of 54.6. The 50 mark separates economic expansion from contraction.
In DC, President Obama has a Twitter town hall planned, and he’ll be talking about jobs and the economy. Senate Democrats are supposed to meet with the president and vice president to discuss debt ceiling negotiation strategy. The FDIC is holding a meeting to consider how it will wield its new powers to liquidate large failing financials. The EPA will likely issue a ruling with regard to limiting interstate toxic emissions from power plants.
The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England are scheduled to announce monetary policy on Thursday. The ECB is expected to raise interest rates for the eurozone by a quarter of a point, to 1.5%. The BOE is seen holding rates steady this month and maybe through year end.
Individual retailers will be reporting their Chain Stores Sales for the month of June Thursday and over the near-term generally. You won’t get any from Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), which composes a huge portion of America’s retail sales, but look for news from Target (NYSE: TGT), Costco (Nasdaq: COST), Macy’s (NYSE: M), J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) and all the rest.
Two more employment data points reach wire on Thursday. Look for the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims data at 8:30 AM ET. Last week’s report showed claims at 428K, just a thousand off the week before count. The consensus estimate here is generally useless, as it usually just reflects the latest result.
Monster World Wide (NYSE: MWW) will offer its latest Monster Employment Index in the premarket Thursday. This June reporting follows May’s decrease against April, though the index marked a 7% increase over May of 2010 while reaching a mark of 143.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, a weekly take of the consumer mood, is due for release at 9:45 AM ET. Last week’s report showed a slight improvement in sentiment, as the index reached negative 43.9.
The EIA will report on both Oil and Natural Gas Inventory this Thursday, due to the holiday. Catch the Natural Gas Report at 10:30 AM ET. Last week’s data covering the period ending June 24 showed natural gas inventory increased by 78 Bcf. However, stocks remained 243 Bcf less than last year at this time and 63 Bcf below the five-year average for this time of year.
The EIA’s Oil Inventory data is due for release at 11:00 AM ET. Last week’s data covering the period ending June 24 showed crude oil inventory fell by 4.4 million barrels, but remained above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels, and were in the middle of the average range for this time of year.
Senate Democrats meet with President Obama’s economic team Thursday to discuss the debt ceiling catastrophe in waiting. The CFTC works on some of the Dodd-Frank rules regarding agricultural commodities, swap reporting and manipulation protections. Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig addresses a group at lunch.
The Employment Situation Report for June will be front and center on Friday morning. Economists are looking for the unemployment rate to remain at 9.1%, based on Bloomberg’s survey. Nonfarm Payrolls are seen at 110K, up from May’s depressed 54K increase. Average hourly earnings are seen increasing by 0.2%, against May’s 0.3% rise. The average workweek is seen stuck at 34.4 hours.
Wholesale Trade data is due for 10:00 AM ET release. Economists see May’s inventories rising by 0.7%, versus April’s 0.8% increase. The question is whether sales are running at a healthy pace, and we’ll get that data as well.
At 3:00 PM ET, look for the latest Consumer Credit report, this time for May. Economists are looking for a credit expansion of just $4.0 billion, against the April increase of $6.3 billion.
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