This week's schedule is full of economic reports. Given the rough January weather, there's a strong chance the data could disappoint.
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Business Calendar - Full of Hearts and Economic Reports
While there were no proper economic reports released Monday, we received two important data points. President Obama released his budget proposal. New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley spoke at the bank's quarterly economic press briefing on household debt and New York economic trends.
In overseas news, China's economy surpassed Japan's to become the second most important in the world, behind the United States. Enthused by events in Egypt, protesters took to the streets of Iran, Yemen and Bahrain.
Tuesday offers eight economic reports, six of which reach the wire in the premarket. Retail Sales data for January, which is due for release at 8:30 AM ET, looks to garner much attention. Economists forecast sales increased 0.5% month-to-month, comparing against the 0.6% gain in December. Bloomberg reports the analysts range from -0.5% to +1.0%. Excluding autos, sales are expected to match December's 0.5% rise.
Also at 8:30, look for the New York Fed to report on its Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The General Business Conditions Index is seen rising to 15.0 in February, up from 11.92 in January.
Import and Export Price data are also due by 8:30 AM ET. January import prices are seen rising 0.8%, after gaining 1.1% in December. Export prices increased 0.7% in December. The Treasury International Capital (TIC) report is up for release at 9:00 AM. Last month's data covering the month of November showed net foreign purchases of long-term securities at $85.1 billion.
The two regular same-store sales reports are also due Tuesday morning. Last week's ICSC weekly same-store sales data covering the period ending February 5 showed sales gained 2.2% week-to-week and 2.5% over the prior year period. Redbook's survey showed a year-to-year sales gain of 2.7%.
Business Inventories data for the month of December are due for 10:00 AM release. Economists see inventories 0.7% higher, compared to the 0.2% increase in November. Business level sales rose 1.2%, offering a complementary data point that took the Business Inventory-to-Sales ratio down to 1.25, from 1.27.
Finally, the Housing Market Index is due at 10:00 AM as well. This report from the National Association of Home Builders should show an increase in builder confidence, as companies like Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) have been reporting sharply improved traffic and orders through the first few months of the year. Last month's report covering the month of January showed no change with the HMI stuck at 16.
At 10:00 AM, look for Cleveland Bank President Sandra Pianalto to give a speech to women in Akron.
In overseas news, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is expected to keep interest rates steady. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and several other nations will be closed for the Prophet Muhammad's birthday.
Look for the regular Mortgage Activity data from the Mortgage Bankers Association in the premarket. Last week's report covering the period ended February 4 showed the Market Composite Index fell 5.5%. Refinancings decreased 7.7%, while the Purchase Index fell 1.4%. Contracted rates on fixed rate 30-year mortgages increased to 5.13%, from 4.81%.
January Housing Starts are due at 8:30 AM. Economists are looking for the annual pace of sales to gain speed to 540K, from 529K in December.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) is also up for release at 8:30 AM. January is expected to show prices rose 0.7%, which compares with the 1.1% increase in December. Excluding food and energy, Core PPI is expected to increase 0.2%, against the like gain in December.
Industrial Production data is due at 9:15 AM. January's data is expected to show an increase of 0.5%, versus the 0.8% increase in December. Capacity Utilization is expected to have improved to 76.3%, from 76.0% in December.
EIA's Petroleum Status Report is due at 11:00 AM. Last week's data covering the period ended February 4 showed crude oil inventory increased by 1.9 million barrels. Gasoline inventory rose by 4.7 million barrels. Both oil and gasoline stocks stood above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
At 2:00 PM ET, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases its meeting minutes for its late January meeting. It's expected to make for interesting reading, given debate surrounding quantitative easing and the prospect of inflation.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify before the Senate Finance Committee on the Treasury Budget.
Another busy economic day includes five economic reports and several important speeches from Fed representatives. In the premarket, be sure to catch the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims data. Last week's report covering the period ending February 12 showed claims fell to 383K, but we wrote that weather likely played a role. Economists are thus looking for this latest data to show an increase in claims to 410K.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is up for release at 8:30. Economists expect January's data to show 0.3% increase in consumer prices. Excluding food and energy prices, economists see the Core CPI rising 0.1%.
At 10:00 AM, look for January's Leading Economic Indicators report. Economists see a 0.2% increase in the LEI, which is less enthusiastic than the 1.0% increase seen in December.
The Philadelphia Fed Survey is up at 10:00 AM as well. Economists see improvement there to 22.0, up from 19.3 in January.
EIA's Natural Gas Report is up at 10:30 AM. Last week's report covering the period ending February 4 showed natural gas inventory fell by 209 Bcf, to a level 45 Bcf below the five-year average for this time of year.
A major hearing by the Senate Banking Committee brings Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, FDIC Chair Sheila Bair and SEC boss Mary Schapiro to testify on the implementation of Dodd-Frank reform. Meanwhile, the Senate Budget Committee will examine the President's Budget Proposal.
The day also brings appearances by Fed men: Richard Fisher, Charles Evans and Dennis Lockhart.
At 8:00 AM, Fed Chairman Bernanke addresses a French conference on Global Imbalances and Financial Stability. Meanwhile, the G-20 finance ministers and the world's central bank governors are also meeting in Paris.
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