Monday's Premarket Slate

business report A heavy hitting economic data point meets the market first thing Monday morning. Retail Sales data will be reported for the month of September at 8:30 AM ET. Autos are expected to give a lift to sales, as economists see a 0.7% increase in overall sales, but a 0.5% gain for sales ex-autos. That sort of a pace would be down a notch from August, when gains of 0.9% and 0.8% were reported respectively. When excluding autos and gasoline, sales are expected higher by 0.5%, versus the 0.1% gain marked in August. Motor vehicle sales have already been reported for September, so this is less likely to move autos stocks and more likely to move retail stores generally. The long-term trend of sales seems to show the data at a point of inflection, so the latest report will either reinforce concern or spell relief for it.

New York area manufacturing was reported poor in September, with the Empire State Manufacturing Survey showing its General Business Conditions Index down to negative 10.4. Economists see improvement for August, with the consensus expectation set at negative 3.0. Some of the more recent data has indicated stabilization, especially the ISM Manufacturing Index, which marked 51.5% for September. However, we expressed healthy skepticism of the message offered by ISM when it was reported last week. The New York area measure might offer a sort of test of truth here.

Business Trade data will be reported at 10:00 AM, measuring the sales and inventories of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Inventories increased by 0.8% in July, as sales gained by 0.9%, so the inventory-to-sales ratio improved to 1.28, from 1.29 the month before (on an adjusted basis). Economists’ projections are only available for inventories, and those are seen rising by 0.5% in August. The data is old and shouldn’t prove important, except in the case of a significant surprise.

Federal Reserve representatives William Dudley, Jeffrey Lacker and James Bullard are addressing three separate audiences Monday. Overseas, Finance ministers from Asia and Europe are meeting in Bangkok. China will publish monthly data on consumer and producer prices. Portugal issues its draft budget for 2013, which should show a smothering austerity program.

The United Nations Security Council begins discussion on the Middle East.

The corporate wire has Citigroup (NYSE: C) on the marquee, with reports also expected from Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG), WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC), Art’s Way Manufacturing (Nasdaq: ARTW), Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO), Educational Development (Nasdaq: EDUC), ICU Medical (Nasdaq: ICUI), Joe’s Jeans (Nasdaq: JOEZ), Premier Exhibitions (Nasdaq: PRXI) and Uranium Energy (NYSE: UEC).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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