The Week Ahead: Dec. 3-9, 2012

December 2, 2012 10:25 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Farm Journal Forum includes speeches by Lucas, Stabenow and Vilsack

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

Several key farm bill officials will be presenters at this week's Farm Journal Forum, cosponsored by Informa Economics. Giving congressional updates on Thursday will be House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. Meanwhile, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will likely talk about his meeting last week with those two lawmakers and others regarding the farm bill. The forum takes place in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5-6.

Economic reports move front and center this week as Friday will bring the key Employment report from the Labor Department. Consumer Sentiment data also comes out that day, but the jobs data is the key set of numbers. Leading up to that, Monday will bring the ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending, with the private-sector ADP jobs report due out as well. The latter will get more attention as recent weekly jobless figures (out Thursday morning) have become more erratic with the impacts still showing from Hurricane Sandy. Also on Wednesday, Productivity and Costs data arrives along with Factory Orders and the ISM non-manufacturing index. Otherwise, markets will continue to watch each development on the fiscal cliff front and likely keep reacting to the fiscal cliff developments, with comments from the key players involved likely to keep moving markets. The situation in Greece remains as another watchpoint along with tensions in the Mideast relative to the crude oil market in particular.

For agriculture, there are few updates from USDA this week as only the Weekly Export Sales report is on tap to be released Thursday morning. The export side remains important, with the ongoing saga of what will happen to BlackSea wheat exports remaining as a potential factor. However, the on-and-off again talk relative to Ukraine and export limits has gone on long enough so that it may not generate much news. While there won’t be a condition update on the US wheat crop, traders will keep their eyes on the skies in Plains HRW wheat country and will have an update from US government weather forecasters on what may or now more likely won’t happen relative to the El Nino situation.

Lawmakers and more likely staff aides will continue their work on the fiscal cliff package. Key congressional and Obama administration officials were on several Sunday news programs, but they offered nothing new from the position-setting jockeying evident most of last week from both political parties.

On Monday, President Obama will host Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria at the White House. Then the president will deliver remarks to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium being held at the National Defense University. On the 20th anniversary of the CTR program, the president will note the extraordinary progress that's been made in securing nuclear material, and thank former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and outgoing Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) for their longstanding leadership on these issues.

On Tuesday, the president will meet with governors at the White House to discuss the actions need to keep the US economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce the nation's deficit. On Wednesday, Obama will deliver remarks to members of the Business Roundtable. Then the president will deliver remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference. On Thursday, Obama and the First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.

On the congressional front, the Senate will continue its work on the $631.4 billion Fiscal Year 2013 Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill (S 3254).

After completing work on DOD, the Senate could take up legislation that would lift restrictions and establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia. The bill was advanced by the House by a 365-43 vote on Nov. 16.

House members have a short week as they will not be in session Dec. 6 or 7. And, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that no votes would be held Dec. 3 in order to accommodate the annual White House holiday ball for members of Congress that evening.

The House on Tuesday will consider legislation (HR 6582) to amend existing federal energy efficiency laws to increase competitiveness of American manufacturers, and a patent bill (S 3486) that would implement the provisions of the Hague Agreement and the Patent Law Treaty.

This week's Washington-related agenda: Senate Finance will focus on a tax court nominee, while House Financial Services holds a hearing on derivatives. A Senate Commerce subcommittee will hold a Thursday morning hearing on Hurricane Sandy and its impact on large transportation systems – the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine will focus on the damage and operation disruptions to the affected region's rail and port infrastructure, the response in the wake of the storm, and the need to reinvest in the region's transportation networks. The Joint Economic Committee looks at fiscal cliff issues.

Monday, Dec. 3
Greece: Euro zone finance ministers discuss terms of a Greek buyback that's a key part of a debt-reduction plan.
Federal Reserve: St. Louis Fed's James Bullard speaks about the economy. Boston Fed's Eric Rosengren, an FOMC voter in 2013, speaks at a mortgage conference.
WTO: The General Council of the 157-member World Trade Organization (WTO), meeting in Geneva, formally adopts the accession of the Republic of Tajikistan. Both it and Laos, two of 24 countries negotiating membership, are expected to become full-fledged members next year.
Financial Stability Oversight Council meets, with a possible vote on nonbank designations.
Finance officials and bankers attend a Tokyo meeting on "The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan."
Economic reports: PMI Manufacturing Index | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending | Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Dairy Products (NASS).

Tuesday, Dec. 4
President Barack Obama meets with governors
at the White House.
Federal Reserve: Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo to provide comments possibly on ending "too big to fail," Basel III, and money-market fund regulation.
Central banks of Australia and Canada review monetary policy.
Japan: Parliamentary election campaigning begins in Japan where Shinzo Abe is expected to be returned as prime minister.

Economic reports: Motor Vehicle Sales | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales

Wednesday, Dec. 5
President Obama addresses the Business Roundtable. Likely topic: the fiscal cliff.
Impact of Dodd-Frank Act - Derivatives regulation: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Factory Orders | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | ADP Employment Report | ISM Non-Mfg Index | Productivity and Costs | MBA Purchase Applications
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS)

Thursday, Dec. 6
Stabenow, Lucas, Vilsack: All three of the key farm bill players will speak at the Farm Journal Forum, cosponsored by Informa Economics in Washington, D.C.
Fiscal cliff: Committee hearing. Joint Economic Committee hearing on the fiscal cliff, focusing on how to protect the middle class, sustain long-term economic growth and reduce the federal deficit.
Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Transportation Systems: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation — Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
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.)
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS)

Friday, Dec. 7

Economic reports: Employment | 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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