It will be a busy week for NASA and its famous “7 minutes of terror,” within which its latest Mars destined spacecraft and land rover, Curiosity, go from 13K mph to a dead stop. For the stock market, though, it looks about as boring as a week can get. These days, though, that still keeps most investors checking their stock quotes by the minute.
7 Minutes of Terror
When Bernanke speaks, people listen. So the recorded message the Fed chief sends to the 32nd General Conference of the International Association for Research Income & Wealth could impact the market on an otherwise slow Monday.
NASA attempts to land its Mars rover, Curiosity, Monday morning at 1:31 AM EDT. A chaotic sequence of treacherous events must unfold in what NASA has aptly dubbed, “Seven Minutes of Terror,” as the spacecraft goes from 13,000 mph to a dead stop in that span.
A second day light of economic news should key the market’s focus on the corporate wire Tuesday. We’ll get just the two regular weekly same-store sales data points from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Redbook Tuesday morning. Last week’s ICSC report showed a 1.7% week-to-week decline in chain store sales, and just a 1.8% increase over the prior year period. That does not even edge inflation. Redbook saw the year-to-year sales change at just 1.1% in the same period ending July 28. Last week, I expressed my concern about a poor consumer spending trend in this detailed report.
Fed Chairman Bernanke is at it again Tuesday, this time addressing educators from across the country via a town hall meeting style event. We’re not expecting any new information to reach the wire, but the market will be paying attention just in case.
At 3:00 PM EDT, look for the monthly Consumer Credit data to reach the wire. Economists expect an increase of $10.3 billion in consumer credit for the month of June. In May, credit expanded by $17.1 billion. The situation has improved dramatically from early 2010, when consumer credit was deeply contracting. Whether we’re getting back to our old ways of giving money away or not is another question.
Sure looks like the right week to vacation, with yet another day of light economic data reaching the wire. The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey is due in the premarket flow. Record low mortgage rates have done little for home sales, but refinancing activity continues to be robust. You’ll find our latest report on that here.
The Productivity and Costs Report for the second quarter is due for release at 8:30 AM EDT. Economists expect nonfarm productivity rose 1.3% in Q2, versus the -0.9% decline in Q1. Unit labor costs are expected 0.9% higher, against the 1.3% increase in Q1.
If you have to come to work for just one day this week, make it Thursday. That will be the day a couple data points have a chance at moving stocks.
The Bank of Japan leads off the wire, with its latest monetary policy. The BOJ just can’t do much with its already low rates, but an increasing number of market mavens are starting to think that the Fed is not in much better of a position.
A few weeks ago, our founder suggested investors consider selling stocks on Wednesday afternoons in anticipation of bad news some Thursday soon. That potential market moving news would theoretically be found in the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Report. We’re looking for the data point to one day soon spike over 400K, and drive stocks down like lightning. Last week, claims edged higher by 8K to 365K.
New International Trade data will be reported for the month of June at 8:30 AM EDT. The trade deficit is expected to have narrowed in June, to $47.5 billion, from $48.7 billion in May. Both imports and exports are easing, though, which is a bad sign for the global economy.
Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index is up for report at 9:45 AM EDT. Last week, the consumer sentiment measure deteriorated 1.2 points to negative 39.7. It’s hard to say what this weekly measure will do from report to report, but over time, the trend should be getting worse.
Wholesale Trade data is due at 10:00 AM EDT for the month of June. Economists expect wholesale inventories grew 0.3%, just like they did in May, however, the range of views runs from no change to +0.4%. Also, it will be more important to note the change in the inventory-to-sales ratio, because it puts wholesale conditions into better perspective. The ratio rose last month to 1.18 from 1.17, which is bad news, because wholesale sales decreased by 0.8% as inventories rose.
EIA’s Natural Gas Report will show the latest change in stores of the commodity at 10:30 AM Thursday. Last week’s data showed the natural gas store increased by 28 Bcf to a level 407 Bcf above the five-year average for this time of year. The gas glut continues…
News from overseas might set the pace Friday, when Greece provides the details of its auction of 26-week T-bills, scheduled for August 14. Greeks and other Christians celebrate a high religious holiday on the 15th, so perhaps they’ll be hoping for some divine help with the auction date.
We’ll get the latest import and export price data Friday morning at 8:30 AM EDT. Economists see a 0.1% decline in export prices in July, according to Bloomberg’s survey. This follows June’s 1.7% drop in export prices. The forecast for import prices sees a 0.2% increase, versus the 2.7% decrease in June.
At 2:00 PM, catch the latestmonthly treasury budget data for July. The consensus view is for a deficit of $103 billion for the month. While July regularly produces a deficit, in June, the deficit ran at a smaller $59.7 billion. However, nine months into the government’s fiscal year, the deficit is down 6.8%.
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