This week is heavily back-end loaded, with Friday bringing a trio of tough news. GDP faces revision, consumer sentiment gets a read and Ben Bernanke takes the podium in Jackson Hole. After four weeks of slippage, and 16% of market capitalization wiped away, the market is more than hopeful on Friday. The problem is that hope, while it may spring eternal, must face reality however it is served.
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Tuesday’s wire keys on the New Home Sales report at 10:00 AM. Data is being reported for the month of July, with economists seeing the annual run rate at about 313K, about the same as in June (312K). The prior year period rate was about there as well. Though, Existing Home Sales were reported last week at a disappointing run rate of 4.67 million, short of both consensus and the prior year pace.
Retail same-store sales data reaches the wire early Tuesday morning. The ICSC will be reporting for the week ending August 20. Data from the week before showed sales fell 1.5% against the immediately preceding period, though was 3.5% above the prior year period. Redbook had the year-over-year sales growth rate up to 4.7%.
The Richmond Federal Reserve releases its regional business index, a similar measure to the Empire State Survey and the Philly Fed Survey. The Philadelphia region showed ugly last week, as its index fell deeply into negative territory.
Several interesting data-points reach the wire Wednesday. Durable Goods Orders for the month of July are due for 8:30 AM ET release. This often volatile data point is seen up 2.0% for the month, after falling 2.1% in June. On a year-over-year basis, economists are looking for a 0.1% increase, versus the 7.6% increase in June. Earlier this week we learned of a large order of Boeing (NYSE: BA) aircraft by Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL).
The FHFA offers its latest House Price Index, this time for June, at 10:00 AM ET. Based on Bloomberg’s survey, economists are looking for an increase of 0.2%. In May, the index showed prices were 0.4% higher. We’ve been forecasting home price stability here, qualified against risks tied to new economic downturn.
The regular reporting of mortgage applications will reach the wire in the premarket. Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a continued surge in refinancing activity, supported by record low mortgage rates.
The Congressional Budget Office is scheduled to release its latest budget and economic outlook.
The EIA releases its latest Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 AM ET. Last week’s report covering the period ending August 12 showed oil inventory increased by 4.2 million barrels, while gasoline inventory decreased by 3.5 million barrels.
Overseas, Europe will be geared to France’s announcement regarding deficit reduction measures.
Look for the latest Weekly Initial Jobless Claims for the period ending 8/20 at 8:30 AM ET. Last week’s report noted claims a bit higher to 408K. Economists are looking for about 405K this week, but we think a trend toward higher claims counts may take hold in the near future.
Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index will be reported at 9:45 AM ET. Last week’s report showed slight improvement, though the index continued to reflect a depressed state. The index last improved to negative 48.3, from negative 49.1.
The Kansas City Fed reports its regional manufacturing survey data Thursday.
The EIA reports on Natural Gas Inventory at 10:30 AM ET. Last week’s report covering the period ending August 12 showed natural gas stocks rose 50 Bcf from the prior week, but still measured 175 Bcf short of last year and 73 Bcf below the five-year average.
It’ll be a big Friday for the market, with all eyes on the GDP revision, Ben Bernanke’s giant Jackson Hole speech and the Consumer Sentiment Index.
We’ll get the GDP data first, reported at 8:30 AM ET. Reported initially at +1.3%, economists expect the revision of Q1 GDP to be lower, to 1.1%, based on Bloomberg’s tally. The slower than expected rate of growth was only a portion of the big picture at the last reporting of GDP. Q1 was also revised significantly lower, to +0.4%.
The mid-August reading of Michigan Consumer Sentiment sank 8.9 points to 54.9. Economists see this latest measure up slightly to 56.0. We’re a couple weeks separated from the debt downgrade blunder of S&P, so perhaps some improvement might be seen here.
There’s a hope the Federal Reserve chief and navigator of the crisis might pull another rabbit out of his hat in Jackson Hole, but it seems he would have already acted, rather than waiting for the market to decline near 20%. Both Bernanke and Jean-Claude Trichet are scheduled to speak. Here’s to hoping the market receives something that pleases it, or better yet, tangible assistance. More likely we’ll hit an iceberg, and perhaps due to the captain’s direction.
Look for EPS news from Tiffany (NYSE: TIF), Madison Square Garden (NYSE: MSG) and many others overseas.
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