We’ve an interesting week’s worth of data to consume this period. Besides some of the regular reports, we’ll receive new reviews of the auto industry, retail segment and more information on manufacturing. Finally, the slew of monthly employment data will start on Wednesday and conclude Friday with the latest unemployment rate and payroll change.
Weekly Economic Report Planner - Autos, Retail, Manufacturing, Jobs Data
A complex week’s worth of data and market news keys with an interesting ISM Manufacturing Report on Monday morning at 10:00 AM. ISM’s manufacturing measure eased two-tenths of a point in March, and economists are looking for another decline in April, to 59.5, from 61.2, according to Bloomberg’s survey. The range of views tops out at 60.5, so economists are overwhelmingly seeing a slowdown in manufacturing growth. Take note though that the reading above 50 still signifies growth.
Also at 10:00 AM, look for the latest Construction Spending data. Economists are looking for growth off of a weather impacted February drop. Construction spending declined by 1.4% in February, and residential construction dipped by 3.7%. Economists are forecasting an increase of just 0.5% for March.
The Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Survey is published Monday. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are working on the implementation of Dodd-Frank changes. Also, the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee is meeting. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets this week, which might result in some new pressure on Iran and North Korea, but is more likely to focus on nuclear energy safety in the wake of the Japanese crisis.
Two key economic reports characterize Tuesday’s data flow. Firstly, April Motor Vehicle Sales will be reported by the individual automakers throughout the day. Economists are looking for the aggregate data to show April’s sales running at an annual rate of 9.9 million, which would mark an increase above the March pace of 9.7 million.
At 10:00 AM, Factory Orders will be reported for the month of March. Factory Orders fell 0.1% in February, and Shipments growth decelerated to a pace of 0.3%. Since then, Durable Goods Orders for March came in up 2.5%, and so economists are forecasting Factory Order growth of 2.0% for March, based on Bloomberg’s survey. The lowest estimate still has growth of 1.7% set for the month.
Tuesday brings the regular weekly same-store sales data from ICSC and Redbook. Last week’s data covering the period ending April 23 showed week-over-week sales increased by 0.4%. Easter acted to blur things last week. That said, the year-to-year pace marked +3.2%, according to ICSC. Redbook reported the year-to-year sales pace at 5.3%, clearly affected by Easter. There’s no forecast for the pending data point.
The Senate Banking Committee will hear several nominations for positions. The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing on the state of competition in the railroad industry. Overseas, Japanese markets close through Thursday for Golden Week.
Wednesday keys the start of the monthly employment data flow, with premarket releases from Challenger and ADP. Challenger, Gray & Christmas will report on the month’s Announced Corporate Layoffs before all other domestic data. The previous month’s data (March) http://wallstreetgreek.blogspot.com/2011/03/adp-private-payrolls-and-challenger-job.html showed layoff activity improved a bit, with the month’s announced firings numbering 41,528. The source of concern was the public sector, as announced layoffs increased to 19,099 in the segment.
ADP will report on Private Nonfarm Payrolls at 8:15 AM ET. Last month, ADP estimated Private Payrolls increased by 201K, which was just short of the Federal Government’s reported increase of 230K. See our coverage of ADP’s data last month via the link above. There’s no estimate of this estimate, as ADP is not reporting anything, just estimating a portion of the Employment Situation Report.
Look for the latest mortgage activity data from the Mortgage Bankers Association in the premarket Wednesday. Last week’s report http://wallstreetgreek.blogspot.com/2011/04/mortgage-activity-corrupted-by-unholy.html illustrated the impact of a deadline to an increase in FHA premium, which caused government sponsored purchase activity to spike in previous weeks, and led to it dropping back down last week. As this noisy factor is taken out of the equation by the passing of time, we’ll get a better idea of normal activity flow and trend. Investors are anxiously awaiting some sort of spring selling lift, and we’ve only seen faint signs thus far.
At 10:00 AM ET, look for the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index to be reported. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg are looking for the pace of expansion to slim further in April. The consensus view is for the index to fall to 57.0, from 57.3. We covered March’s drop in this article, “Beginning of the End for the Service Sector?” http://wallstreetgreek.blogspot.com/2011/04/beginning-of-end-for-service-sector.html
The EIA will report on Petroleum Status at 10:30 AM ET Wednesday. Last week’s report covering the period ending April 22 showed crude oil inventory increased by 6.2 million barrels and stood above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventory decreased by 2.5 million barrels to a level in the lower limit of the average range for this time of year.
Look for Federal Reserve representatives, Eric Rosengren, John Williams and Dennis Lockhart to address groups Wednesday.
Thursday will be defined by the reporting of monthly Chain Store Sales by individual retailers throughout the day. While April benefits from Easter, it will be hard to tell what true trend is. That said, every analyst and their mother will be trying to, and these stocks will move on how they see the situation. We anticipate rising gasoline prices are hampering consumer spending in an intensifying manner.
Before the same-store sales data begins, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE) will issue their latest monetary policy statements. Both central banks are seen standing pat on rates, but quantitative easing efforts are being hemmed in now.
Look for Weekly Jobless Claims data at 8:30 ET. Last week’s data showed an important spike in claims, which continued an unfortunate trend. That led us to author our article, “Sell in May and Go Away.” http://wallstreetgreek.blogspot.com/2011/04/sell-in-may-and-go-away.html. Claims spiked 25K to 429K, and economists are looking for 410K this time around.
Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) will report on its Monster Employment Index in the premarket Thursday. The index shows job availability online, and last month it showed a 9% annual growth pace increase in March. This is a secondary data point and is only used to reinforce forecasts or theories dictated by more important indicators.
We’ll be looking for the Productivity and Costs data at 8:30 AM ET. This report is expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg to show a slower rate of productivity expansion in the first quarter of 2011, versus Q4 2010. Productivity is seen rising 1.3%, versus 2.6% in Q4, while Unit Labor Costs are seen increasing by 0.8%, versus the 0.6% decline in Q4 2010.
The EIA will report on Natural Gas status at 10:30 AM ET. Last week’s data covering the period ending April 22 showed natural gas inventory increased by 31 Bcf from the prior week to a level 11 Bcf below the five-year average.
Vice President Biden will meet with Congressmen to discuss the budget deficit and potential cutting measures. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and representative Evans will address a group of bankers in Chicago Thursday. The Fed’s Narayana Kocherlakota addresses a group at 1:15. An interesting meeting is taking place in New York City, at the Ethical Culture Society, where the topic of debate will be the idea of returning to the gold standard. GFMS publishes its annual platinum and palladium survey this same day.
Friday will of course key on April’s Employment Situation Report. According to Bloomberg’s survey, economists expect the unemployment rate to stick at 8.8% this month. Of course, that’s far from the real rate we calculated over the last several months. The economists’ range here covers 8.6% to 8.9%, and we think an increase remains highly possible this month. Overall Nonfarm Payrolls are seen increasing 185K in April, versus the 216K reported for March. Private Nonfarm Payrolls are seen increasing 200K in April, versus the 230K change in March.
At 3:00 PM ET, look for the Consumer Credit Report to show a net increase of $5.0 billion in March, versus the $7.6 billion expansion of credit in February, based on economists’ views. Finally, Look for Fed representatives William Dudley and Janet Yellen to grab microphones Friday.
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