The Week Ahead: Dec. 2-8, 2013

December 1, 2013 08:49 PM
 
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

House returns | Senate out until Dec. 9 | Farm bill conferees could meet Wed. | RFS public hearing


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


House members return today from their holiday break, while the Senate does not return until Dec. 9. The House expects to adjourn for the year by Dec. 13, while the Senate has Dec. 20 as its tentative departure date. That leaves only a few mid-December days for in-person negotiations among top congressional leaders.

The pending congressional list is now well known and uncertain and includes Fiscal Year 2014 budget issues, conference reports dealing with a new farm bill and water resources measure, confirmation of a new Federal Reserve leader, reforms to National Security Agency surveillance, a possible Iran sanctions bill, and whether to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans.

As for the farm bill talks, the farm bill conference “principals” continued to meet and talk last week, and there is at least a possibility that conferees could be called back to Washington this Wednesday for a full conference session.

Some congressional issues could be wrapped into a spending bill that must be approved by Jan. 15. Another issue House GOP leaders say must be dealt with is the expiration of laws banning plastic guns. On Dec. 9, the 1988 law banning weapons manufacturers from making guns that cannot be detected by security systems expires, and GOP and Democratic aides said the two chambers are anxious to approve some extension of the law to deter wider criminal use of the plastic guns, which are less detectable than their metallic versions.

According to congressional records, there have been fewer than 60 public laws enacted in the first 11 months of this year (only 52 according to the website GovTrack), so below the previous low in legislative output that officials have already declared this first session of the 113th Congress the least productive ever. In 1995, when the newly empowered GOP congressional majority confronted the Clinton administration, 88 laws were enacted, the record low in the post-World War II era. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), asked about what his majority had to show for its work in 2013, said in mid-November that the GOP was most proud of putting a brake on tougher regulations on business and impeding efforts by President Obama to push a more liberal agenda on the country. “Listen,” Boehner said, “we have a very divided country and we have a very divided government. And I’m not going to sit here and underestimate the difficulty in finding the common ground, because there’s not as much common ground here as there used to be.”

On the House agenda this week is legislation targeting patent litigation (HR 3309) and private equity fund advisers (HR 1105) – the bill would exempt private equity fund advisers from Securities and Exchange Commission registration. House lawmakers begin the week by considering measures under suspension of the rules. This list includes a bill to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act (HR 3588) to exempt fire hydrants from the prohibition on the use of lead. Also on the agenda are bills designed to improve the Transportation Security Administration (HR 1095, HR 2719, and HR 1204).

Ag policy interests will especially focus on the Farm Journal Forum Dec. 5 (co-hosted by Informa Economics), which will feature one of the key farm bill players, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas). Beyond that, there are also some hearings on tap over ObamaCare with the prime focus being a Ways & Means subcommittee hearing.

On Thursday, biofuels proponents and opponents square off in their differences over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), when the EPA convenes a public hearing on the recently announced draft RFS volume requirements.

The first full week of December will see more updates on manufacturing and housing, but the main focus will be on the November Employment report that is due out Friday morning. Leading up to that report, Monday will see release of the manufacturing indicators from ISM and the PMI reading along with two Construction Spending reports. Wednesday will see private-sector jobs data come from ADP along with International Trade, ISM non-manufacturing data and two New Home Sales reports. Also, traders will take note of the Beige Book update issued that afternoon. GDP data arrives on Thursday along with weekly jobless claims and US Factory Orders. In addition to the jobs data Friday, Personal Income and Outlays and Consumer Credit data will be released. And Fed speakers start appearing again, with Dallas Fed’s Fisher speaking on Thursday with Chicago Fed’s Evans and Philadelphia Fed’s Plosser speaking on Friday. Remarks from Plosser and Fisher could be important as they move to being voters on the FOMC in 2014. Foreign economic data and any global central bank moves could also factor into US market action as the month unfolds. Any readings on how consumers shopped at the start of the holiday shopping season will also be of note.

For agriculture, USDA will open the week by updating their outlook for the value of US agricultural trade, with an update on trade data due out Wednesday. That Wednesday report will also provide the starting point for Fiscal 2014 – October. The full week also means the Weekly Export Sales report returns to its normal Thursday release time. Demand news in the weekly update and any daily sales announcements from USDA or global wheat tenders could also be key for grain and soybean markets as December gets underway. Also expected sometime this month is a study of USDA grain stocks and supply/demand estimates.


Monday, Dec. 2
Cameron visits China: British Prime Minister David Cameron leads a trade delegation to China (to December 4), his first visit since he angered Beijing by meeting the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, last year. Cameron said it would prepare “the way for a new level of Chinese investment in the UK.”
Lagarde makes Asia tour: Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, will visit Cambodia, South Korea and Myanmar on an Asian tour (to December 7) during which she will meet Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Economic reports: PMI Manufacturing Index | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending | Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | US Agricultural Trade Outlook (ERS)

Tuesday, Dec. 3
Trade agreement talks:
Director-general Roberto Azevedo leads the World Trade Organization's ministerial conference in Bali, Indonesia, where a “Doha-lite” trade deal may be agreed 12 years after the round of talks started (to December 6). Some analysts say such a deal could add $1 trillion to the world economy and create 21m jobs; 18 million in developing countries.
Federal Trade Commission review and outlook: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Hearing
Economic reports: Motor Vehicle Sales | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
USDA reports:
Dairy Products (NASS) | Weekly Weather & Crop Bulletin (WAOB)
Australia: Australian Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Resource Economics and Sciences will
release updated production estimates.


Wednesday, Dec. 4
Health care reform: Subcommittee hearing. House Ways and Means Committee -- Health Subcommittee takes up the Affordable Care Act.
Health care law and small business: Committee hearing. House Small Business Committee.
Former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet gives a speech in Frankfurt: Is the euro at risk?
OPEC meets in Vienna amid reports that some are pushing it to trim output next year. Iraq and Angola have said they do not see a need to change the collective production target of 30 million barrels a day. Brent oil prices have averaged $108.48 a barrel this year, down 2.9 percent on 2012.

Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports:
Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | ADP Employment Report | ISM Non-Mfg Index | International Trade | New Home Sales | Beige Book (Fed Reserve) | MBA Purchase Applications
USDA reports:
Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Class and Component Prices (AMS) | Latest US Agricultural Trade Data (ERS)
Canada: Statistics Canada will release updated estimates.


Thursday, Dec. 5
Federal Reserve: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speech on the economy and Fed operations, in College Station, Texas.
Farm Journal Forum (co-hosted by Informa Economics): The annual forum will feature one of the key farm bill players, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas).

ECB Governing Council and the Bank of England deliver their decisions on interest rates. No change in policy is expected at either bank.
The Securities & Exchange Commission holds a roundtable on proxy-advisory services.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
Small business lending: Subcommittee hearing. House Small Business — Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.

Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA)
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Factory Orders
| GDP
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock & Meat International Trade Data (ERS) | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS)


Friday, Dec. 6
Federal Reserve: Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speech to open Philly Fed policy forum in Philadelphia. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans on panel discussing economy and monetary policy in Chicago.
Economic reports: Employment | Personal Income and Outlays | Consumer Sentiment | Consumer Credit.
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS) | Apples, Grapes and Pears: World Markets and Trade (FAS)



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


 


 

 

 

 

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