The Week Ahead: April 21-27, 2014

07:01AM Apr 21, 2014
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Obama journeys to Asia | TPP | Congress in recess | EPA definition of waters

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

In Washington, both the House and Senate remain out of Washington, coming back to town the week of April 28.

Updates on the housing and manufacturing sector are the most important economic data due out this week. Today will bring the Chicago Fed report along with Leading Indicators. Tuesday is the release date for the FHFA House Price Index, Existing Home Sales and the Richmond Fed update, followed by the PMI manufacturing flash and New Home Sales on Wednesday. Thursday’s report list includes Durable Goods, weekly jobless claims and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing report with PMI services data and Consumer Sentiment on Friday. As we saw over the past week, economic updates outside the US can still move markets, as did data from China and Europe. The Russia/Ukraine tensions were starting to wane as the week wore down, but it seems they could flare up again at nearly any moment. While US markets were closed last Friday, some global markets are also closed on Monday in observance of Easter.

For agriculture, weather is still one of the main potential influences over grain futures, especially with the holiday weekend. That could mean some accented moves could be on tap as trading resumes this week. Traders will watch the Crop Progress update today for any mention or damage reports from this week’s cold temperatures. Plus, weather patterns appeared to be shifting to conditions that could help get spring fieldwork back on the agenda in the Midwe4st. The level of frozen pork and beef will be the focus of Cold Storage data out Tuesday, particularly with pork and beef supply questions. The weekly export update Thursday continues as an important marker on demand for US crops while Friday will bring updates on US food prices and the monthly feedlot inventory data from USDA. The Russia/Ukraine tensions remain a potential flash point for wheat in particular. Plus, Canada will release the equivalent of their planting intentions report.

EPA today to release waters definition. Nearly a month after it was first announced, EPA is publishing today its proposed rule defining "Waters of the United States" — and the reach of the Clean Water Act. It is a 375-page rule. The publication begins a 90-day comment period. Link to definition. Republicans have already raised questions about the decision to propose the rule before EPA advisers have reviewed the underlying science. Link to CRS report on the topic.


Monday, April 21
Some markets closed: Dozens of markets including the U.K., Hong Kong, Germany, and Brazil are closed for Easter Monday.
Vice President Biden is in Ukraine to meet with that country's acting leaders through Tuesday.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Chicago Fed National Activity Index | Leading Indicators
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Livestock Slaughter – Ann. (NASS) | Milk Production (NASS) | Crop Progress (NASS)

Tuesday, April 22
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.
Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries.
Economic reports: ICI weekly money market mutual fund data | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | Housing Starts | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | FHFA House Price Index | Existing Home Sales | Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Chickens and Eggs (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS)

Wednesday, April 23
President Obama arrives in Japan. He will meet with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | PMI Manufacturing Index Flash | New Home Sales
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA) | Weekly National Petroleum Report (API)
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors (AMS)

Thursday, April 24

ECB President Mario Draghi speaks in Amsterdam at a conference marking the 200th anniversary of the Dutch central bank.
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | Durable Goods Orders
Energy reports: EIA Natural Gas Report
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Poultry Slaughter (NASS)

Friday, April 25
Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed for Anzac Day, in remembrance of those nations' soldiers.
President Obama heads to South Korea, then on to Malaysia on Saturday.
The Russian central bank holds a rate meeting and the Bank of Mexico publishes its monetary-policy statement.
Economics reports: PMI Services Flash | Consumer Sentiment
USDA reports: Food Price Outlook (ERS) | Cattle on Feed (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Dairy Data (ERS)


President Obama's Schedule This Week


On Tuesday, President Obama will travel to Tokyo, arriving on Wednesday evening.


On Thursday, the president will hold a state call with Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace. Later in the morning, President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Akasaka Palace. In the afternoon, the president will visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation to tour and deliver remarks at a youth and science event with students. Later in the afternoon, the president will visit the Meiji Shrine and host a roundtable meeting with Select USA business leaders. In the evening the president will attend the Japanese State dinner at the Imperial Palace with the Imperial family.



On Friday morning, President Obama will meet with employees and family members of the US Embassy to Japan. He will then travel to the Republic of Korea. In the afternoon, the president will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial to honor fallen soldiers. Following the ceremony, he will tour the Gyeongbok Palace. Later in the afternoon, the president will visit the Blue House to participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Park of the Republic of Korea. In the evening, the president will join President Park for a working dinner and remain overnight in Seoul.



On Saturday morning, President Obama will participate in a roundtable meeting with business leaders to discuss trade policy. Following the roundtable, the president will travel to Yongsan Garrison. He will be briefed by US-ROK Combined Forces Command officers and deliver remarks and visit with troops and their families to thank them for their extraordinary service to our nation.


In the afternoon , the president will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the evening, he will join King Abdul Halim and Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia for the State dinner at the Istana Negara Palace.



On Sunday, the president will visit the National Mosque of Malaysia. Following his visit, he will participate in a bilateral meeting and working lunch followed by a joint press conference with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia at the Prime Minister's Office. In the afternoon, the president and Prime Minister will take part in an event at the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center. In the evening, the president will travel to Malaya University to participate in a town hall with participants in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. The President will remain overnight in Malaysia. His final stop is the Philippines.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.