The Week Ahead: Feb. 10-16, 2014

February 10, 2014 07:51 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Yellen to testify | USDA reports | CBO, budget hearings

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

Testimony from new Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and a hearing on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline projections are the primary topics of the week ahead in Washington. The House will conclude its legislative week on Feb. 12 so that House Democrats can attend their issues retreat in Cambridge, Md. House Republicans held their retreat Jan. 29-31.

The House plans to consider a bill that would make changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – to make it an independent commission named the Financial Product Safety Commission and to change its review authority. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also said the House may consider a measure that would increase the borrowing authority of the US to avoid a default on its debt. The chamber will also consider a bill (HR 3448) that would create a pilot program to allow certain small companies to increase the tick sizes of their stocks.

The Senate will continue to focus on legislation (S 1963) regarding cost-of-living adjustments for the military. The measure would repeal a section of the 2013 budget agreement that cut cost-of-living benefits to service members. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he would like the Senate to take up legislation relating to sexual assault in the military before the chamber adjourns for the Presidents' Day break.

House and Senate committee topics include the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of political groups, monetary policy and the economic outlook, transportation and infrastructure, the National Security Agency data collection, and clean coal programs.

On the economic front, the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday morning will hold a hearing to receive the Federal Reserve Board's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. The report, which also is know as Humphrey-Hawkins, will focus on monetary policy and the state of the economy. Fed Chairman Janet Yellen will testify. The Senate Banking Committee will hear from Yellen on Thursday morning regarding the Fed's monetary policy report and the economy. Her comments on the surprising jobs data will be the major focus and whether she hints at what traders are wondering – will the Fed hit the pause button on tapering their asset purchases. Besides Yellen, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Ploser appears on Tuesday and St Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks Wednesday. As for economic data, Tuesday will bring Wholesale Trade data, with the Treasury Budget statement due out on Wednesday. Thursday’s slate of reports includes weekly jobless claims, Retail Sales and Business Inventories with the week wrapping up Friday with Import and Export Prices, Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment. Beyond that, updates on economic data out of China and Europe always hold potential to move global markets, especially with worries about economic growth creeping into the picture.

On the budget front, the Senate Budget Committee will hold a Tuesday morning hearing on the budget and economic outlook for Fiscal Years 2014-2024. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf will testify.

On transportation topics, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday morning will focus on the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Witnesses will discuss the economic importance of maintaining federal investments in transportation infrastructure nationwide. The House Transportation and Infrastructure's Panel on Public Private Partnerships on Tuesday afternoon will hold a roundtable, with panelists focusing on opportunities for public-private partnerships across all modes of transportation and infrastructure.

For agriculture, Monday’s monthly update on the Supply/Demand situation will capture most of the attention as traders are expecting to see tighter carryover levels for corn, soybeans and wheat. Other items to watch from USDA including an update on farm income on Tuesday, the longterm baseline projections on Thursday along with the Weekly Export Sales report and Friday will bring the Livestock, Dairy & Poultry outlook report. Foreign production developments like weather in South America and grain tenders also will be of note.

Monday, Feb. 10
CFTC: Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Technology Advisory Panel meets to discuss swap-data reporting.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve)
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Crop Production (NASS) | WASDE (ERS/WAOB) | Cotton Ginnings (NASS) | World Agricultural Production (FAS) | Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | Grains: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | Cotton: World Markets and Trade (FAS)


Tuesday, Feb. 11
Japanese markets are closed
for National Founding Day.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's monetary policy testimony released; Yellen gives her first semi-annual monetary policy testimony before House Financial Services Committee.
Federal Reserve: Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speech on economic outlook in Newark, Delaware. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speech on financial stability at Stanford University. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speech on the economic outlook, in Dallas.
President Barack Obama meets with French President
François Hollande in Washington.
CBO budget and economic outlook: Committee hearing. Senate Budget Committee. Witness: Douglas Elmendorf, director, Congressional Budget Office,
Worldwide threats to national security: Committee hearing. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Open science at EPA: Subcommittee hearing. House Science, Space and Technology — Subcommittee on Environment.
Threat of bioterrorism: Subcommittee hearing. House Homeland Security — Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications.
DOE clean coal programs: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | NFIB Small Business Optimism Index | Wholesale Trade
USDA reports: Season-Average Price Forecasts (ERS) | Farm Sector and Household Income Forecast (ERS)

Wednesday, Feb. 12
Federal Reserve: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speech on the economic outlook in New York.
China reports January trade data.
ECB President Mario Draghi participates in a conference on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the European Monetary Institute.
Transportation infrastructure investments: Committee hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Extreme weather events: Committee hearing. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
State energy efficiency: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources — Subcommittee on Energy hearing examining state efforts to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy policy.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Treasury Budget | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | MBA Purchase Applications
USDA reports: Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Rice Outlook (ERS) | Cotton and Wool Outlook (ERS) | Feed Outlook (ERS)


Thursday, Feb. 13
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivers second part of the semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Senate Banking Committee.
Bank of Korea announces a decision on interest rates.
Minimum wage policy: Committee hearing. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Rail safety: 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.) | Retail Sales | Business Inventories
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | USDA Agricultural Projections (ERS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS) | Aquaculture Data (ERS) | US Bioenergy Statistics (ERS)


Friday, Feb. 14
President Obama meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
China reports consumer prices, producer prices, and January foreign direct investment.
Germany releases its preliminary estimate of fourth-quarter GDP.
Economic reports: Crop Values (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (ERS) | Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook (ERS)


Saturday, Feb. 15
Deadline for uninsured Americans to enroll in the health-insurance marketplace in order to begin receiving coverage on March 1.



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



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