The Week Ahead: Dec 19-25, 2011

07:29AM Dec 19, 2011
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Another congressional skirmish

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The Senate left town on Saturday, thinking they were through for the year, but the timeline is murky following words from House leaders that Republican members will not approve the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut – see related item.

Other than the latest congressional skirmish, Washington events are very light ahead of the holiday season.

Monday, Dec. 19

US, India, Japan:
The three countries hold their first trilateral meeting in Washington to discuss a range of Asia-Pacific regional issues.
1.22 billion euros of Greek debt is due.
Gulf leaders hold summit:
Leaders of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council begin their two-day annual summit in Riyadh. The turmoil of the Arab spring and strained relations with Iran are expected to be on the agenda. The member states are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Existing Home Sales.
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | Milk Production (NASS).

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Mercosur leaders meet: Leaders of Mercosur, South America’s trade bloc, hold a summit in Montevideo, Uruguay. The four full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The agenda is expected to include opening the way for Venezuela’s full membership.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Housing Starts.
USDA reports: Wheat Data (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS).

Wednesday, Dec. 21

The Madoff firm trustee asks a New York Bankruptcy Court to approve a settlement with the IRS.
The Bank of Japan is expected to further lower its assessment of the economy, after the tankan quarterly survey showed business confidence falling.
Mariano Rajoy is expected to be sworn in as Spain’s prime minister in Madrid following his Popular party’s overwhelming victory in last month’s general election.
Energy reports:
Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA) | Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | Existing Home Sales.
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, Dec. 22

Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev addresses the lower house of Parliament.
European risk board meets: The European Systemic Risk Board meets in Frankfurt. The board was established by the European Union after the 2008 global financial crisis to monitor the financial sector and consider how supervisory arrangements could be strengthened.
Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads).
Economic reports: | Jobless Claims | GDP | Consumer Sentiment | Leading Indicators.
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Chicken and Eggs (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS).

Friday, Dec. 23

Bond market closing: The bond market closes early, at 2 p.m. EST, ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Japan: Markets are closed to mark Emperor Akihito’s birthday.
Economic reports: Durable Goods Orders | Personal Income and Outlays | New Home Sales.
USDA reports:Poultry Slaughter (NASS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Dairy Products Prices (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Cotton Ginnings (NASS) | Quarterly Hogs & Pigs (NASS).


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