Sept. 14, 2020 - There's a lot on the calendar this week, at least for economic data, but there isn't a lot that promises to have much effect on the market.
The Federal Reserve meeting will likely dominate the headlines Wednesday, but unless Jerome Powell finds an exciting new way to say, "Interest rates will be very low for a very long time and we wish fiscal policymakers would do something to help get the economy growing again," it is hard to image the central bank moving the market too much.
Before the Fed though, the retail sales report will be interesting. The headline numbers may not tell us much, but we may be able to glean some information about the broader economy by looking at spending patterns in different categories of retailers. For example, as the economy reopens, we would expect to see spending at grocery stores to go down, while spending at restaurants and other food-service outlets to rise. Similarly, the consumer discretionary category should capture more spending as the economy recovers, but if economic conditions are getting worse, that category will likely shrink as people hold off on non-essential spending.
Thursday's unemployment numbers will also be interesting. New unemployment claims are down significantly from the peak, but the rate at which claims are falling has slowed dramatically. Recent trends in the labor market show people on temporary layoff going back to work, but the number of people who are have lost a job permanently has risen. For an economic recovery to really take hold, we need to see unemployment fall. Adding close to a million new unemployed people every month makes that much harder.
Economic Events this WeekTuesday
- 8:30 a.m. - Import/Export Prices
- 8:30 a.m. - Empire State Manufacturing
- 9:15 Industrial Production / Capacity Utilization
- 8:30 a.m. - Retail Sales
- 10:00 a.m. - Business Inventories
- 10:00 a.m. - NAHB Housing Market Index
- 10:30 a.m. - EIA Crude Oil Inventories
- 2:00 p.m. - Crude Oil Inventories
- 8:30 a.m. - Initial Claims
- 8:30 a.m. - Housing Starts
- 8:30 a.m. - Building Permits
- 8:00 a.m. - Philadelphia Fed Index
- 10:00 a.m. - Leading Indicators
- 10:00 a.m. - U. of Mich. Consumer Sentiment