The Week Ahead: Feb. 3-9, 2014

February 2, 2014 08:50 PM
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Senate votes on farm bill | CBO releases new budget baseline

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

A widely expected Senate approval of the 2014 Farm Bill vote (HR 2642) on Tuesday, the unveiling of an updated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline, budget outlook hearings and a confirmation vote for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to be U.S. ambassador to China are the key focus items of the week ahead in Washington.

The House will consider legislation (HR 3964) regarding California drought. The House will also consider a bill (HR 1791) that would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to enhance medical preparedness.

Besides the farm bill, the Senate may consider extending unemployment insurance (S 1845).

The Senate leaves Capitol Hill on Feb. 5 for one day for private party retreats to discuss legislative priorities for the weeks ahead.

Hearings will focus on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service targeting certain tax-exempt organizations, online data privacy and security and the safety of drinking water supplies.

More manufacturing updates arrive to open February, but the key focus will be on Friday’s January Employment report. Leading up to Friday, Monday will bring the PMI and ISM manufacturing index updates and new figures on Construction Spending. Tuesday will see the release of Factory Orders, with the ADP private sector employment and ISM non-manufacturing data on Wednesday. Thursday’s data includes the week jobless claims figures, monthly International Trade updates along with figures on Productivity and Costs. Besides the jobs data Friday, Consumer Credit figures will also be released that day. The Fed post-FOMC blackout is lifted so that means Fed speakers are back on the agenda. Richmond Fed’s Lacker and Chicago Fed’s Evans are on tap Tuesday, with Philadelphia Fed’s Plosser and Atlanta Fed’s Lockhart on Wednesday and Boston Fed’s Rosengren on Thursday. The focus will be on the debate that took place on the taper and how much talk there was of the situation with emerging markets. China’s Lunar Holiday is underway, so news out of the country will be sparse. But Europe and emerging markets remain potential sources for market-moving information.

For agriculture, the key update will be the Thursday Weekly Export Sales report with a focus, as usual, on China and their actions in either corn or soybeans. Plus, traders will want to see if strong demand for US corn continues after the big sales for the week ended Jan. 23. Otherwise, weather and foreign demand developments also could move market values.

Calendar of key events and reports:

Monday, Feb. 3
Chinese markets remain closed through Tuesday for the Lunar New Year.
Mexican markets are closed for Constitution Day.
Credit cards: A Senate Banking subcommittee holds a hearing on the recent rash of credit-card data breaches at major retailers.
Consumers' financial data: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs — Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance.
Economic reports: PMI Manufacturing Index | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending | Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Motor Vehicle Sales.
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Amber Waves magazine (ERS) | Agricultural Trade Multipliers (ERS)

Tuesday, Feb. 4
Congressional Budget Office
releases its US economic outlook.
Farm Bill: Senate expected to vote on and approve 2014 Farm Bill.
Federal Reserve: Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speech on the economic outlook in Winchester, Virginia. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speech on monetary challenges for 2014, in Detroit.
Budget agenda: Committee hearing. Senate Budget Committee hearing titled "The 2014 Outlook: Moving from Constant Crises to Broad-Based Growth." Witnesses: Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody's Analytics; Robert Greenstein, president, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist, Gluskin Sheff and Associates, Inc.
Credit cards: Senate Judiciary Committee takes up the credit-card data-breach issue with a hearing of its own.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks about the importance of raising the debt limit, in Washington.
Iran nuclear negotiations: Committee hearing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
State of Al-Qaeda: Committee hearing. House Armed Services Committee.
FISA overhaul: Committee hearing. House Judiciary Committee to examine recommendations to revisit Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorities.
Insurance regulation: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing titled "The Federal Insurance Office's Report on Modernizing Insurance Regulation."
OSHA regulatory agenda: Subcommittee hearing. House Education and the Workforce — Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing titled "OSHA's [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] Regulatory Agenda: Changing Long-Standing Policies Outside the Public Rulemaking Process."
Health care law amendments: Committee markup. House Ways and Means Committee.
Worldwide threats: Committee hearing. House Select Intelligence Committee.
Economic reports: Factory Orders | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
USDA reports: Dairy Products (NASS)

Wednesday, Feb. 5
CBO budget and economic outlook: Committee hearing. House Budget Committee hearing on the budget and economic outlook by the Congressional Budget Office. Witness: Douglas Elmendorf, director, Congressional Budget Office.
SEC holds an open meeting to discuss disclosure and reporting rules for asset-backed securities.
Federal Reserve: Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speech on economic outlook in Rochester. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speech on the economic outlook in Birmingham.
Bank of England holds a monetary-policy meeting through the 6th.
Consumer information protection: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing titled "Protecting Consumer Information: Can Data Breaches Be Prevented?"
Health care law assessment: Committee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled "ObamaCare: Why the Need for an Insurance Company Bailout?"
Surface water storage: Subcommittee hearing. House Natural Resources — Subcommittee on Water and Power Subcommittee Hearing.
Food Safety Modernization Act implementation: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Health.
Volcker Rule: Committee hearing. House Financial Services Committee hearing on the finalized Volcker Rule, which places trading restrictions on financial institutions.
Al-Qaeda resurgence in Iraq: Committee hearing. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Energy production on federal lands: Subcommittee hearing. House Natural Resources — Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Health insurance co-operatives: Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform — Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs.
US presence in Asia: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
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 | MBA Purchase Applications
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Class and Component Prices (AMS)
Canada: Statistics Canada will release updated estimates.

Thursday, Dec. 6
Dodd-Frank implementation: Federal Reserve Board member Daniel Tarullo testifies before the Senate Banking Committee about Dodd-Frank implementation.
Federal Reserve: Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren speech on the economic outlook, in Sarasota, Florida.
Bank of England announces its interest-rate decision.
ECB Governing Council meets and makes an interest-rate announcement.
Financial stability and data security oversight: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
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.) | International Trade | Productivity & Costs
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock & Meat International Trade Data (ERS) | Latest US Agricultural Trade Data (ERS)

Friday, Feb. 7
US debt-ceiling suspension ends, though the Treasury's extraordinary measures should give lawmakers another month or so to make a deal.
Olympics: The opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia marks the official start of the 22nd winter Olympic games. Over 2,500 athletes from 88 nations will compete.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida meets with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Economic reports: Employment | Consumer Credit.
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS) | Livestock & Meat International Trade Data (ERS) | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS)

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






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