The Week Ahead: Feb. 25-March 3, 2013

February 25, 2013 12:03 AM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Sequestration initiatives | Bernanke | CFTC oversight | Ethanol blends


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


Both the House and Senate return, with the focus being the Senate debating various sequester (across-the-board budget cuts) prevention bills. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before House and Senate panels on the economic outlook and monetary policy.

Senate legislative initiatives will attempt to avoid the sequestration required under the Budget Control Act. If Congress does not act quickly, across-the-board spending cuts will become effective March 1 but to do various technical factors, most cuts/furloughs would not take place until around early April. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are expected to introduce legislation that would replace the sequester, with the bills being placed directly on the legislative calendar, under a prior agreement, and motions to proceed to these bills would be in order the day they are introduced.

In the House, leaders plan to consider the chamber's pared-down version of the Violence Against Women Act (S. 47). The Senate passed its more expansive bill Feb. 12 on a 78-22 vote.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before congressional committees on the Fed's outlook for the US economy and monetary policy. Bernanke on Tuesday will appear before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Bernanke will head to the House on Wednesday to present the so-called Humphrey-Hawkins report to the House Financial Services Committee.

The Senate Finance Committee will meet Tuesday morning to examine the Congressional Budget Office's budget and economic outlook for the decade ahead. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf will testify before the committee.

The Joint Economic Committee on Thursday morning will hold a hearing focusing on the state of the U.S. economy, lagging economic growth and job creation, and recommendations to accelerate both.

The Senate Ag Committee will hold a Wednesday afternoon oversight hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler will testify. The panel will focus on the CFTC's progress in implementing Wall Street reform and examine the agency's work in the coming year.

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a Thursday morning hearing on ways to help improve the financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration.

A House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday morning to review competition and bankruptcy in the US airline industry. The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law will focus on the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

A Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation panel will meet Thursday morning to review the current state and use of passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor. The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation will focus on recent proposals and activities to enhance and expand rail service on the corridor, and implications for future legislative action.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power meets Tuesday morning to assess private-sector successes and opportunities with energy efficient technologies.

Ethanol blends. The House Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittee on Environment on Tuesday afternoon will hold a hearing on the consumer and technical research needs for mid-level ethanol blends.

The Senate Budget Committee Tuesday morning will examine the impact of federal investments on families, communities, and long-term and broad-based economic growth.

U.S. workforce investment system. The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce will hold a Tuesday morning hearing on reforming the US. workforce investment system. The panel will focus on a new legislative proposal to streamline federal programs and create a single source of employment support for employers and job seekers.

Health insurance. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a Wednesday afternoon hearing to examine the benefits of providing consumers with clear and concise information to make an informed decision when purchasing health insurance.

President Obama's regulatory policy is the topic of a House Judiciary panel hearing on Thursday afternoon. The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law will focus on recent regulatory measures, and their impact on jobs, the US economy, and U.S. competitiveness abroad.

Trade policy. The House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will hold a Thursday morning hearing on trade policy initiatives concerning small business exporters during the 113th Congress.

Executive pay. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a Tuesday morning hearing on the Treasury Department's continued approval of excessive pay for executives at taxpayer-funded companies.

On the economic front, the focus will be on whether Bernanke will offer any more guidance on when the Federal Reserve may pull back the asset purchases. That caught the markets’ attention lst week so they will be wanting additional information tis week. Otherwise, manufacturing updates arrive from regional Fed banks (Dallas and Chicago on Monday, Richmond on Tuesday, and Thursday from Kansas City) and additional data on housing. New home sales come on Tuesday along with Consumer Confidence with Durable Goods on Wednesday and Pending Home Sales. Thursday brings the week jobless claims data, GDP and Chicago PMI with Friday bringing Personal Income, the PMI Manufacturing Index, Consumer Sentiment, ISM Manufacturing and Construction Spending.

For agriculture, markets will likely shift their focus from USDA’s barrage of information for the 2013 crop year to the weather situation in the US and South America. Data from USDA will include the monthly update on food prices along with the weekly update on exports.


This week's Washington-related agenda: The agenda for congressional committees features hearings on the economic outlook from Federal Reserve; the Senate Agriculture holds a hearing on the CFTC; Senate Commerce meets on passenger rail; and House Judiciary looks at the U.S. Airways/American Airlines merger.

Monday, Feb. 25
Congress: The House and Senate return.
President Barack Obama addresses a gathering of the nation's governors.
Secretary of State John Kerry starts a European tour in London.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Dallas Fed Mfg Survey
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Food Price Outlook (ERS) | Poultry Slaughter (NASS) | Poultry Slaughter - Ann. (NASS) | Trout Production (NASS)

Tuesday, Feb. 26
Iran: World powers, Iran talk about nukes.
Congress – House Illinois seat: Chicago holds a special election to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s congressional seat.
Gas trading hub: The Institute of Energy Economics of Japan and the International Energy Agency launch a report: "Developing a Natural Gas Trading Hub in Asia."
Report on brands: Oxfam releases "Behind the Brands," an analysis of the business practices of the leading food and beverage companies and the impact they are allegedly having on global food insecurity.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke begins two days of testimony before Congress on monetary policy and the economy. On Tuesday Bernanke appears before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.
CBO's outlook: Senate Finance Committee hearing to examine the Congressional Budget Office's budget and economic outlook for the decade ahead. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf will testify before the committee.
Ethanol blends: House Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittee on Environmenthearing on the consumer and technical research needs for mid-level ethanol blends.
Airline merger: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law hearing to review competition and bankruptcy in the US airline industry. The will focus on the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
Energy-efficient technologies: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing to assess private-sector successes and opportunities with energy efficient technologies.
Impacts of federal investments: Senate Budget Committee hearing to examine the impact of federal investments on families, communities, and long-term and broad-based economic growth.
Reforming US workforce investment system: House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce hearing that will focus on a new legislative proposal to streamline federal programs and create a single source of employment support for employers and job seekers.
Excessive pay for executives: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Treasury Department's continued approval of excessive pay for executives at taxpayer-funded companies.
Energy reports:
Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports:
S&P Case-Shiller HPI | FHFA House Price Index | New Home Sales | Consumer Confidence | Richmond Fed Mfg Index | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
USDA reports:
Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Livestock and Meat Domestic Data (ERS)


Wednesday, Feb. 27

Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Bernanke heads to the House on Wednesday to present the so-called Humphrey-Hawkins report to the House Financial Services Committee.
Federal Reserve: Fed hawk Richard Fisher speaks at Columbia University.
CFTC oversight: Senate Ag Committee oversight hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler will testify. The panel will focus on the CFTC's progress in implementing Wall Street reform and examine the agency's work in the coming year.
Health insurance: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing to examine the benefits of providing consumers with clear and concise information to make an informed decision when purchasing health insurance.
Energy reports:
Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: ICI
weekly money market mutual fund data | MBA Purchase Applications | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | Durable Goods Orders | Pending Home Sales Index
USDA reports: Announcement of Class and Component Prices (AMS) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Monthly Milk Cost of Production (ERS) | Chickens and Eggs - Ann. (NASS)

Thursday, Feb. 28
Secretary of State Kerry meets with Syrian opposition leaders in Rome.
Federal Reserve: Several Fed officials attend the Atlanta Fed's banking outlook forum.
State of US economy: Joint Economic Committee hearing focusing on the state of the US economy, lagging economic growth and job creation, and recommendations to accelerate both.
President Obama's regulatory policy: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law hearing focusing on recent regulatory measures, and their impact on jobs, the US economy, and US competitiveness abroad.
Trade policy and small businesses: House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade hearing on trade policy initiatives concerning small business exporters during the 113th Congress.
FHA: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on ways to help improve the financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration.
Transportation: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation hearing to review the current state and use of passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor. The will focus on recent proposals and activities to enhance and expand rail service on the corridor, and implications for future legislative action.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | GDP | Chicago PMI
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: US Export Sales (FAS) | Egg Products (NASS) | Agricultural Prices (NASS) | Peanut Stocks and Processing (NASS) | Chickens and Eggs (NASS)

Friday, March 1

Sequestration: Discretionary spending cuts required by sequestration begin, unless Congress acts to prevent them.
Markets closed in South Korea.
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Bernanke gives a speech on "Low Long-Term Interest Rates."
Horsemeat tests: Random beef testing for horse DNA and the equine drug bute will begin in European Union states for three months.
Economic reports: Employment | Personal Income and Outlays | Motor Vehicle Sales | PMI Mfg Index | Consumer Sentiment | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS)


 

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


 


 

 

 

 

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