Our regularly published Wall Street week ahead article has been engineered to prepare you for the period's scheduled market-moving events.
With GDP and the Employment Situation Report on tap, the market will face the toughest test of its resiliency yet starting on Wednesday. The vessel that is the stock market has thus far sailed through some harsh weather, albeit after taking on a flood of water initially as the iceberg of economic reality brushed her port side. This week's first quarter GDP report offers possible confirmation of economic contraction. Economists, while mostly saying one thing in the public forum, quietly hold a consensus expectation for growth in Q1.
Is this a pipedream or hot air meant to keep client funds in managed portfolios... we estimate the latter. Despite the published expectation, the market probably anticipates contraction in Q1, so bad news might not shake the ship. The degree of bad news though, could certainly take the titanic under for a moment or two.
Since employment lags as an economic indicator, this month's report threatens to be the worst yet. On Friday, the last day of trading heading into the weekend, the potential also exists for sell-off and yet another retest. We'll truly see how slalwart the latest capital surge is through the Wednesday to Friday period.The Week Ahead Monday
The first of the tax rebate checks roll out Monday, and not soon enough for many. The Greek's
Main Street read of the situation is that things are getting pretty tough out there. Last week's consumer confidence reading might not have been as full of as much overreaction as contrarians want to find in it. There's a strong case to be made for buying stocks when Main Street is sure things are horrible because of the lag of Main Street opinion as an economic indicator.
While the first day of the week is devoid of economic data, it will offer the European Commission's spring economic forecasts for 2008-2009. Yanks will be mostly concerned with how this plays for the U.S. dollar. A good portion of the portfolio management community is anticipating the dollar to strengthen against the euro this year, according to Barron's Big Money Poll seen in this week's copy. Also, we should not discount the interest of American exporters in seeing ongoing European economic health (read avoiding recession).
The United Nations is starting a semiannual meeting within which it will focus on the food crisis and climate change. Funny (sad actually) how these problems of the future
that the majority of us use to ignore have all of sudden become serious to us.
Regulators will start a two-day examination of the Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC) deal. Still in the height of earnings season, the slate includes: Alberto-Culver (NYSE: ACV), American Dental Partners (Nasdaq: ADPI), American Safety Insurance (NYSE: ASI), Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR), Axis Capital (NYSE: AXS), BE Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV), CH Energy (NYSE: CHG), Choice Hotels (NYSE: CHH), China Petroleum & Chemical (NYSE: SNP), CNA Financial (NYSE: CNA), Cognex (Nasdaq: CGNX), Covance (NYSE: CVD), Digi Int'l (Nasdaq: DGII), Fair Isaac (NYSE: FIC), Flowserve (NYSE: FLS), FMC Technologies (NYSE: FTI), FPL Group (NYSE: FPL), Gen-Probe (Nasdaq: GPRO), Hanger Orthopedic (NYSE: HGR), Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG), Humana (NYSE: HUM), IHOP (NYSE: IHP), JDA Software (Nasdaq: JDAS), Kaydon (NYSE: KDN), Loews (NYSE: LTR), Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW), Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP), Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN), PrePaid Legal (NYSE: PPD), RadioShack (NYSE: RSH), Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII), Saur-Danfoss (NYSE: SHS), Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW), Sinopec Shanghei Petrochemical (NYSE: SHI), SOHU.com (Nasdaq: SOHU), Southern Copper (NYSE: PCU), STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), SYSCO Corp. (NYSE: SYY), The Hanover Insurance Group (NYSE: THG), Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO), Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Visa (NYSE: V), Wm. Wrigley (NYSE: WWY) and many more.Tuesday
After Friday's Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, which showed sentiment at its lowest level in more than 25 years, the Conference Board will also report on April consumer confidence Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Bloomberg's consensus of economists anticipates a measure of 62.0, versus 64.5 when measurement was last taken in March.
The ICSC-UBS offers its weekly take on chain-store sales earlier that morning. We recorded the first contraction of weekly same-store sales, on a year-to-year basis, last week and nobody noticed. We view the outlook bleak for the retail space, but the stimulus package rebate checks are coming just in time. The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting Tuesday. Of international interest, Japanese markets will be closed.
The heavy earnings schedule includes Advent Software (Nasdaq: ADVS), AGCO (NYSE: AG), Allianz SE (NYSE: AZ), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM), Avon Products (NYSE: AVP), Ballard Power Systems (Nasdaq: BLDP), Banco de Chile (NYSE: BCH), Bemis (NYSE: BMS), Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP), Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD), Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (NYSE: BNI), Carpenter Technology (NYSE: CRS), CommScope (NYSE: CTV), Convergys (NYSE: CVG), Corning (NYSE: GLW), Daimler AG (NYSE: DAI), DaVita (NYSE: DVA), Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), Domino's (NYSE: DPZ), Echelon Corp. (Nasdaq: ELON), Energizer (NYSE: ENR), Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX), FEI Co. (Nasdaq: FEIC), Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX), Group 1 Automotive (NYSE: GPI), Harris (NYSE: HRS), Holly Energy (NYSE: HEP), ICON plc (Nasdaq: ICLR), K-Swiss (Nasdaq: KSWS), Kensey Nash (Nasdaq: KNSY), LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV), Lear (NYSE: LEA), Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD), Martha Stewart (NYSE: MSO), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Medco Health (NYSE: MHS), National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI), Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), Oil States Int'l (NYSE: OIS), Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA), Plantronics (NYSE: PLT), Renaissance Re (NYSE: RNR), Techne (Nasdaq: TECH), Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN), McGraw Hill (NYSE: MHP), TheStreet.com (Nasdaq: TSCM), Titan Int'l (NYSE: TWI), Under Armor (NYSE: UA), United Rentals (NYSE: URI), Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH), Waste Management (NYSE: WMI) and many others.Wednesday
If one day can define a week, Wednesday looks like the day. The market will get its toughest resiliency test yet when first quarter GDP is reported. Economists are widely discussing recession while quietly maintaining forecasts that indicate otherwise. Bloomberg's consensus of the double-talkers indicates expectations for 0.3% growth
this quarter. You can't record recession when you get growth, so one has to wonder if the media is only taking speakers with extreme views, and only the view that sells advertising. It wouldn't be the first time would it...The Greek
is saying one thing and forecasting it too. We think Q1 will fall short of the consensus figure, into negative territory. However, we note that we do not have a model or dedicated staff to forecast this figure, and are basing this estimation on our memory of the data we follow on a regular basis and its "contractionary" overtones over the last three months. Don't knock it, as it's perhaps this small distance and our insight that have allowed us to avoid the paralysis that over analysis can lead to sometimes. The Greek
is a big fan and beneficiary of due diligence (i.e. doing your homework, but it's equally critical to be able to weed the noise from the important information - insight). Many are good at tracking numbers and plugging them into spreadsheets, while reporting the news, while also poor at forecasting the future based on data knowledge.
Also on Wednesday, that favorite group of economic crime fighters we all admire, the Justice League, also known as the Fed and its FOMC, will make its latest decision on its target rates. Most expect the Fed to cut the fed funds target rate by a quarter point, and to also adjust the discount rate lower a quarter point. The tide of market sentiment has definitely turned, and the market now wants to see some caution from the Fed. Commodity prices are really starting to concern the market, so even free money is no longer welcome.
The Employment Cost Index for the first quarter is also scheduled for early morning reporting, but what do we want to learn from it? That's the tough question. With all costs rising, don't we want compensation to likewise rise so that Americans can afford to spend money this summer? But, if this very important cost component rises, it could also add to inflation fears, and rightly so. The cost index is expected to have increased by 0.8%, quarter to quarter, in Q1.
The ADP Employment Report for April is due for release early Wednesday morning, but the GDP figure will render it mute just fifteen minutes after. Still, the prelude to the Employment Situation Report on Friday is widely followed and very important.
At 9:45 a.m., the National Association of Purchasing Managers - Chicago will offer its Business Barometer Index, with expectations for a measurement of 47.5 for April. That compares to 48.2 in March, both measures indicating economic contraction (sub - 50.0).
Wednesday's busy slate will also contain the regular mortgage activity and petroleum status reports, as well as the Farm Prices Report at 3:00 p.m. No shortage of information to swallow on Wednesday, so we'll offer a wrap up of the data and its consequences Wednesday evening.
The earnings schedule will not let up either, with news arriving from: Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Allegheny Energy (NYSE: AYE), Allied Waste (NYSE: AW), Amkor (Nasdaq: AMKR), Asset Acceptance (Nasdaq: AACC), Atmel (Nasdaq: ATML), Avalonbay Communities (NYSE: AVB), Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC), Cabot (NYSE: CBT), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG), Cache (Nasdaq: CACH), CACI Int'l (NYSE: CAI), CalDive Int'l (NYSE: DVR), Centex (NYSE: CTX), Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO), Cummins (NYSE: CMI), Dean Foods (NYSE: DF), Diebold (NYSE: DBD), First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), Fiserv (Nasdaq: FISV), Furniture Brands (NYSE: FBN), Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES), IAC Int'l (Nasdaq: IACI), Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR), International Paper (NYSE: IP), JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), Jones Apparel (NYSE: JNY), Kellogg (NYSE: K), Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), LoJack (Nasdaq: LOJN), Micros Systems (Nasdaq: MCRS), Millipore (NYSE: MIL), Morton's Restaurant Group (NYSE: MRT), Murphy Oil (NYSE: MUR), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV), Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO), OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX), Olympic Steel (Nasdaq: ZEUS), ONEOK (NYSE: OKE), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Psychiatric Solutions (Nasdaq: PSYS), RehabCare (NYSE: RHB), Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY), SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE), Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), Sunoco (NYSE: SUN), Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), Tetra Tech (Nasdaq: TTEK), The Brinks Co. (NYSE: BCO), Thomas & Betts (NYSE: TNB), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), Visteon (NYSE: VC), West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) and more.Thursday
Take a breath and get ready for another heavy dose of economic data on Thursday. The first bit of news arrives at 6:00 a.m. with the Monster Employment Index, followed by the 7:30 reporting of the Challenger Job-Cut Report. We do not expect to see significant improvement or reason to celebrate arriving from any of the jobs data. Weekly initial jobless claims are set for release also, with consensus expectations set at 360K. We saw a bit of a break off from this year's trend last week, but we would not expect that to prove any indication of inflection point. Employment measures should lag other indicators, and they've just started to deteriorate over the last few months.
Personal Income and Outlays are set for 8:30 release, and this very important barometer will offer insight into the status and spending habits of the American consumer. Bloomberg pegs expectations for the March measurement at increases of 0.3% for both income and consumption. Both these figures would prove reassuring to the stock market if they prove true. Motor vehicle sales are also set for release and will provide some information on the big ticket spending habits of Americans. Despite Ford's (NYSE: F) recent success, we're not expecting much from the overall industry.
The Institute for Supply Management will issue its Manufacturing Index for April at 10:00 a.m. Bloomberg's consensus indicates a measurement of 48.0, versus last month's measure of 48.6, again both indicating economic contraction. Manufacturing showed early weakness in this economic downturn, despite the benefits of a weak dollar for multinationals based in the U.S.
Construction spending, due for release at 10:00 a.m., will likely get lost in the flood of data. This is a been there, done that
bit of news, and the market will find no surprise in poor result and no hope in positive surprise, in our estimation. Bloomberg's consensus is expecting construction spending to have declined 0.9% in March, after a decrease of 0.3% in February.
Thursday's earnings schedule includes Affiliated Computer (NYSE: ACS), Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY), Ansys (Nasdaq: ANSS), Apache (NYSE: APA), Apria Healthcare (NYSE: AHG), Atmos Energy (NYSE: ATO), Bebe Stores (Nasdaq: BEBE), Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH), Burger King (NYSE: BKC), Cabelas (NYSE: CAB), Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY), Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH), Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), CIGNA (NYSE: CI), Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS), Clorox (NYSE: CLX), Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV), Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM), Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK), Elizabeth Arden (Nasdaq: RDEN), Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE), ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Haemonetics (NYSE: HAE), Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP), Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO), Jones Soda (Nasdaq: JSDA), Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO), MetLife (NYSE: MET), Mine Safety Appliances (NYSE: MSA), Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST), National Fuel Gas (NYSE: NFG), Nicor (NYSE: GAS), Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL), Odyssey Re (NYSE: ORH), Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN), Pride Int'l (NYSE: PDE), ResMed (NYSE: RMD), Sepracor (Nasdaq: SEPR), St. Mary Land & Exploration (NYSE: SM), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA), First American (NYSE: FAF), Timberland (NYSE: TBL), Tyco Int'l (NYSE: TYC), Websense (Nasdaq: WBSN), Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) and many more.Friday
We would be remiss not to focus on the Employment Situation Report, which has the ability to undo or make the entire trading week. As recession likely takes grip of the economy, portfolio managers the world over will closely monitor the employment situation to take measure of the possible depth of decline. If employers can withstand a bit, consumer spending might also recover sooner. Still, in a competitive marketplace, with margins getting squeezed from the cost of component commodities and energy, corporations are most likely to place the good of their firm ahead of the good of the whole, for their job's sake. We anticipate the employment situation will deteriorate further through most, if not all of the year. Bloomberg's compilation of experts sees a loss of 75,000 jobs in April, with the unemployment rate slipping to 5.2% from 5.1% the month before. Average hourly earnings are seen rising 0.3%.
Factory orders, due for release at 10:00 a.m., are expected to have increased 0.3% in March, after a 1.3% decrease in February. The earnings schedule includes Agrium (NYSE: AGU), Ameren (NYSE: AEE), Apartment Investment & Management (NYSE: AIV), BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG), Federal Signal (NYSE: FSS), KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR), Lubrizol (NYSE: LZ), MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU), Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), Viacom (NYSE: VIA), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) and more.Please see our disclosure at the Wall Street Greek website.
Labels: Week Ahead