The Week Ahead: July 29-Aug. 4, 2013

July 28, 2013 10:57 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Mostly quiet week ahead of long summer recess

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

A Fiscal 2014 spending bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), a student loan compromise and Senate consideration of some President Obama's nominations highlight the week in Congress before lawmakers take off for a five-week summer recess, returning on Sept. 9.

The Senate is scheduled to continue debate of its version (S 1243) of the THUD appropriations bill when senators return today.

Nominations. The Senate Monday afternoon will consider the nomination of James Comey II to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The chamber also will consider other executive branch nominations, including President Obama's picks for the National Labor Relations Board. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) July 25 filed cloture motions on three NLRB nominees. Those votes are likely to take place throughout the week.

House members will consider their version of the THUD bill (HR 2610), as well as other legislation House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) described as "bills to restrain a runaway government and re-empower our citizens." The House is not in session Monday, July 29, but will meet July 30 to begin consideration of HR 2610.

Over the week, the House will consider legislation (HR 367) that would subject all major federal regulations to an up or down vote by Congress before they could take effect, also know as the REINS Act (HR 367). The House leadership also plans to consider a bill (HR 2009) which would prevent the treasury secretary from enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Student loans. Additionally, Cantor said the House would take action prior to the recess on legislation which would lower the rates on Stafford Federal Direct student loans. The House already has passed a bill, and the Senate passed a similar compromise student loan measure (HR 1911) last week.

Congressional hearings of note include a Wednesday afternoon Senate Finance hearing on the principles for energy tax reform. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a Thursday morning hearing to discuss the current status of the Obama administration's efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act. The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a Tuesday morning hearing on mitigating systemic risk in financial markets through Wall Street reforms. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler are scheduled to testify.

Financial markets will have a lot to watch as the end of July rolls around and August begins after a mixed bag of economic data last week. Economic data ramps up during the week, starting with the Pending Home Sales Index and Dallas Fed manufacturing update on Monday. Tuesday brings an update on Consumer Confidence and the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. Data on Wednesday includes the private-sector jobs report from ADP, US economic performance via GDP, the Employment Cost Index and Chicago PMI data. But much of the attention will shift to the afternoon conclusion of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Thursday will see updates on weekly jobless claims, Construction Spending and a pair of manufacturing updates via the PMI and ISM indices. Beyond the FOMC meeting, the main focus will be on the July Employment report on Friday morning along with Personal Outlays and Income data plus Factory Orders.

For agriculture, weather is still the key and that will keep attention on Monday’s Crop Progress report and of course weather forecast updates after what was expected to be a rather cool weekend in lots of areas of the Midwest. The demand side of the equation comes with Thursday’s Weekly Export Sales report the biggest-watched indicator on that side in addition to any daily sales announced by USDA. The week will wrap up with updates on Land Values and Farm Production Expenditures.

Monday, July 29
Palestinian president visits Egypt.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Pending Home Sales | Dallas Fed Mfg Survey
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS)

Tuesday, July 30
Israeli prime minister holds peace talks with the Palestinians.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's final appeal is heard.
Systemic risk in financial markets: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
Patent disputes and antitrust law: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Judiciary — Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.
Economic reports: FOMC meeting begins | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | S&P Case-Shiller HPI | Consumer Confidence | State Street Investor Confidence Index
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Dairy Data (ERS) | Livestock & Meat Domestic Data (ERS) | Peanut Stocks and Processing (NASS)

Wednesday, July 31
Russia's Vladimir Putin is in Tehran to talk about Iran's nuclear program.
Tax overhaul in Reagan Administration: Committee hearing. Joint Economic Committee titled "Lessons from Reagan: How Tax Reform Can Boost Economic Growth."
Energy drinks and marketing to youth: Committee hearing. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
Energy tax policy: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Finance — Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure.
Regional implications of Iran, Syria situations: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa.
Outlook for Turkey: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Foreign Relations — Subcommittee on European Affairs.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: GDP | ADP Employment Report | Employment Cost Index | Chicago PMI | FOMC Meeting Announcement | MBA Purchase Applications
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Class and Component Prices (AMS) | Ag Prices (NASS) | Egg Products (NASS)


Thursday, Aug. 1
The European Central Bank is expected to stand pat on interest rates.
Impact of settlements on endangered species: Committee hearing. House Natural Resources Committee.
Implementation of the Health Care Act: Committee hearing. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Texas fertilizer plant explosion: Subcommittee hearing. House Homeland Security — Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.
Trans-Pacific Partnership: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
US water programs and global health: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA)
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Motor Vehicle Sales | PMI Mfg Index | ISM Mfg Index | Construction Spending
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Dairy Products (NASS)


Friday, Aug. 2
Detroit seeks to appoint a panel to protect retirees in its reorganization.
Federal Reserve: St. Louis Fed's James Bullard speaks about the US economy at Brandeis.
Border security planning and lessons learned overseas: Committee hearing. House Homeland Security Committee.
Coal energy production and regulations bill: Subcommittee hearing. House Natural Resources — Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Economic reports: Employment | Personal Income & Outlays | Factory Orders
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS) | Quick Stats Database Cash Rents (NASS) | Land Values (NASS) | Farm Production Expenditures (NASS)


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






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