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Week Ahead: Markets Watch Retail Sales, Inflation, Obama

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by , 05-13-2014 at 01:10 AM (1752 Views)
The week ahead offers economic and corporate news that is potentially market moving as investors continue to run scared from many overvalued biotech, Internet, small-cap and so-called “momentum” stocks and seek the safety of established and dividend-paying companies like utilities.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company shares has fallen roughly 8 percent in the last two months.

And despite big, blue chip stocks driving the Dow Jones index to a record this past Friday, markets remain edgy and need some direction. This week, they just might get some.

Investors will examine retail sales figures for April, updates on inflation and housing starts, and earnings from big companies including Wal-Mart, Cisco and Deere & Co DE +0.06%.

Monday brings the U.S. Treasury’s April budget statement and some details on U.S. government bond auctions.

Tuesday sees April figures published for U.S. retail sales and March figures for U.S. business inventories.

Also planned for Tuesday is a hearing of a U.K. House of Commons business committee to question Pfizer PFE -0.48% CEO Ian Read and AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soroit about Pfizer’s proposed acquisition of AstraZenca, which is proving politically difficult in Britain.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to speak in New York on the U.S. economy, according to Bloomberg News, and the U.S. producer price index for April is due.

Also on Wednesday, earnings are expected from Cisco Systems, Deere & Co and Macy’s.

Thursday brings an evening speech on small business by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen — and a slew of economic news, including a read on April inflation, news on April’s U.S. industrial production, the May Philadelphia Fed survey and weekly U.S. initial jobless claims.

The Federal Reserve will be hoping that consumer prices have ticked upwards to bring inflation a little closer to its 2 per cent target.

Thursday’s earnings news includes results from Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Hyundai Motor and National Grid.

Friday will provide news on U.S. housing starts and building permits for April, and a preliminary read on May’s University of Michigan consumer confidence report.


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