The Week Ahead: April 9-15, 2012

April 8, 2012 10:37 PM
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Congress in recess | Obama meets Brazzil's leader | Supply/demand report

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

Congress is off for another week via its Easter recess. Both chambers will return Monday, April 16.

Today traders will get a chance to react to the Employment Situation report due to being closed Good Friday – the day of the report's release (link to details of report).

Given the re-emergence of European debt concerns, that will also be a factor in trading this week.

For data, the Beige Book report comes out Wednesday and will provide a snapshot of economic conditions in the 12 Federal Reserve banks.

Thursday will see international trade data released along with the Producer Price Index followed by the Friday release of the Consumer Price Index.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks Monday and Friday, and several other Fed officials are on tap for speeches, so their remarks will be monitored closely by financial traders.

The U.S. government racked up a deficit of $777 billion in the first half of Fiscal 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in an estimate released Friday – a clear signal the government will likely have at least a $1 trillion deficit for the fourth consecutive year. But CBO said the deficit is $53 billion below the same period in Fiscal 2011.

For agriculture, Monday’s Crop Progress update will be watched for corn planting progress and how much the winter wheat crop improved due to more rains in the Plains. With earliest planting dates for several states now here, corn planting progress should gain steam. But forecasts for cold temps in areas of the Corn Belt could temper planting enthusiasm.

Commodity traders will really be focusing on Tuesday’s Supply & Demand report, expecting to see lower carryovers for corn, soybeans and wheat compared to March levels (link).

Thursday’s Weekly Export Sales report is also an important one for traders to decipher.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks today in Kansas City, where he will again push renewable fuels. On Tuesday, the ag secretary visits Kansas.

President Barack Obama meets today with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The two presidents in March of 2011 announced a “Strategic Energy Dialogue” when Obama visited Brazil. “The presidents will have the opportunity to follow up on progress made under the three presidential dialogues launched during President Obama’s March 2011 visit to Brazil – the Strategic Energy Dialogue, the Economic and Financial Dialogue, and the Global Partnership Dialogue,” the White House said Sunday in a summary of the upcoming visit. The joint energy work is focused on biofuels, oil-and-gas, renewable electricity, efficiency and nuclear energy.It will be interesting to see if ethanol policy comes up now that the United States no longer has an ethanol import tariff. In fact, Brail has erected its own ethanol import barrier. The US and Brazil are the top two ethanol producers in the world. The US eliminated its 54-cent ethanol import tariff at the end of 2011, but Brazil recently put on its own ethanol import tariff, so this could be on the president's agenda.

Monday, April 9
Congress in recess:
The House and Senate are in recess. Both chambers will return on Monday, April 16.
Some markets closed:
Several markets are closed for Easter Monday, including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong and the U.K.
Obama hosts Brazilian president:
President Barack Obama meets with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Federal Reserve:
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, speaks before the 2012 Financial Markets Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At the conference (until April 11), entitled The Devil’s in the Details, delegates will examine the future role of the government in mortgage finance, the role of regulated intermediaries in providing maturity transformation, the potential for regulations to create a new shadow banking system, and the creation of “systemically responsible” money market funds.
Energy summit:
The Council on Competitiveness co-hosts an energy summit with the Global New Energy Summit.
Petroleum conference: The Gulf Petroleum Conference and Exhibition opens in Kuwait (to April 10). The conference is organized by the Kuwaiti authorities with the International Energy Agency and will include policy makers and prominent members of the industry from countries belonging to the Gulf Co-operation Council.
Vilsack to promote biofuels:
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will use a Kansas City convenience store as a stage to talk about combatting high gas prices with biofuels, the Associated Press reported. Vilsack plans to use the speech to highlight a step the federal government has taken toward wide distribution of gasoline mixed with 15 percent ethanol by allowing manufacturers to register as suppliers – but the blend still has several hurdles ahead, besides being restricted to 2001 and newer vehicles and light trucks.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports
: Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS).

Tuesday, April 10
Cook book by Michelle Obama: A cookbook by Michelle Obama goes on sale. American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities focuses on healthy and affordable food to tie in with anti-obesity initiatives supported by the First Lady.
Federal Reserve: Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed and a policy hawk, speaks about the Dallas Fed's view of too big to fail.
USDA Secretary Vilsack goes to Kansas State to participate in the school's Landon Lecture series.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Wholesale Trade | NFIB Small Business Optimism.
USDA reports:
Crop Production (NASS) | World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WAOB) | Cotton, Grains, Oilseeds, and World Agricultural Production Data (FAS) Cotton: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | World Agricultural Production (FAS) | Grains: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (FAS) Season-Average Price Forecasts (ERS).

Wednesday, April 11
South Korea:
Markets are closed in South Korea.
Federal Reserve:
Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen speaks about monetary policy to the Money Marketeers of New York University.
South Koreans vote:
A legislative election takes place in South Korea.
Gold industry outlook:
An annual survey of the gold industry is published by Gold Fields Mineral Services, a London-based consultancy.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | Import and Export Prices | Beige Book.
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Rice Outlook (ERS) | Cotton and Wool Outlook (ERS).

Thursday, April 12
Italy auctions bonds.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data.| International Trade | Producer Price Index.
USDA reports: Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Export Sales (FAS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | Feed Outlook (ERS) | Latest US Agricultural Trade Data (ERS).

Friday, April 13

Iran is set to meet with six world powers to discuss its nuclear program.
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Bernanke headlines a conference on the lessons of the financial crisis sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Century Foundation in New York.
Economic reports: Consumer Price Index | Consumer Sentiment.
USDA reports: Meat Price Spreads (ERS) | Livestock and Meat Trade Data (ERS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS).

Saturday, April 14
Sixth Summit of the Americas: In Cartagena, Colombia, 34 heads of state and government, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will address the theme “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity” (until April 15).

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






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