The Week Ahead: Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 2012

August 26, 2012 11:44 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

GOP convention | EPA call for comments re: RFS | Bernanke on Friday

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

A weather-delayed Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., key remarks from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and potential policy developments dealing with volatile commodity markets highlight the week ahead.

Congress is still out and will return Sept. 10, but the attention will be focused on the GOP convention in Florida where Mitt Romney is expected to get the party’s nod for president -- but it will come later than planned because on Saturday GOP convention officials canceled Monday activities because a major tropical storm is brewing in the Atlantic and while it appears to have skirted a direct hit on the Sunshine State, it is still aiming for New Orleans, La., on Wednesday in what would be the seventh anniversary of Katrina.

EPA officially calls for public comment. The Aug. 24 Federal Register public inspection list contained the call for public comments on the requests for waivers of the ethanol mandates under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).  The public inspection notice said the call for public comments would be published in the Federal Register today, Aug. 27. However, today’s Federal Register does not contain the EPA request for public comments.

On the energy front, besides volatile markets caused by Tropical Storm Isaac, a report surfaced that the International Energy Agency (IEA) in September likely will call on countries to release oil reserves to combat rising prices and maintain the integrity of Iranian sanctions.

Financial markets will keep watching for additional signs that the Federal Reserve or other central banks in Europe or China will take steps to help the economic situation. Of note, Fed officials, including Fed Chairman Bernanke (Aug. 31), will address a get-together next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That will bring close scrutiny of economic data, which will include the Dallas Fed Index Monday, Consumer Confidence on Tuesday, GDP on Wednesday and Personal Income and Outlays on Thursday. Friday closes out the week with the Chicago PMI data along with Consumer Sentiment data and Factory Orders. Otherwise, traders will be watching the situation in the Middle East relative to oil prices and monitoring foreign economic data -- again for signs of central bank action.

For agriculture, Crop Progress on Monday will be watched to see if corn and soybean ratings continue to stabilize while Farm Income figures on Tuesday will be examined for how USDA translates the drought impact back to the farm level. Thursday’s Weekly Export Sales report remains a focal point, especially for soybeans as foreign countries continue to buy US soybeans. Also, USDA will issue its quarterly update of the outlook for US ag trade. The report last time increased the value of imports which trimmed the trade surplus from prior projections.

Monday, Aug. 27
U.S. Congress on summer recess:
Both houses of the US Congress are in recess for the summer, returning on Sept. 10. Tentative adjournment date is Oct. 5.
U.S. economy:
Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago president, speaks about the outlook for the US economy and monetary policy at a seminar in Hong Kong.
Markets in the U.K. closed f
or its Summer Bank Holiday.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Dallas Fed Survey.
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS) | Rice Stocks (NASS).

Tuesday, Aug. 28
Delayed Republican nominating convention begins in Tampa, Fla., following a one-day delay due to threatening weather. It will formally nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November election.
Spain auctions treasury bills.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | S&P Case-Shiller HPI | Consumer Confidence
USDA reports: Farm Income and Costs E(ERS).

Wednesday, Aug. 29
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Securities and Exchange Commission votes
on proposing rules that would allow hedge funds and others to solicit investors more broadly. An expected vote on changes in money-market funds was tabled.
Bernard Madoff:
Attorneys overseeing the recovery of funds stolen by Bernard Madoff seek court approval for their fees.
Energy reports:
Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA) | Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: ICI
weekly money market mutual fund data | MBA Purchase Applications | GDP | Pending Home Sales Index
USDA reports:
Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, Aug. 30
APEC finance meeting: Finance ministers of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) bloc meet in Moscow.
Central bankers assemble: The annual economic symposium for central bankers staged by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City begins in Jackson Hole, Wyo. (until September 1).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | Personal Income and Outlays.
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Peanut Stocks and Processing (NASS) | Outlook for US Agricultural Trade (ERS).

Friday, Aug. 31

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at 10 a.m. EDT at the Jackson Hole conference. Traders will focus on any signals regarding QE3 (quantitative easing) and/or comments about the so-called "fiscal cliff."
Economic reports:
Chicago PMI | Consumer Sentiment | Factory Orders.
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS) | Agricultural Prices (NASS) | Egg Products (NASS).

Saturday, Sept. 1
ECB President Mario Draghi
addresses the Jackson Hole, Wyo., forum.
reports the Purchasing Managers Index for August.


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






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