The Week Ahead: March 17-23, 2014

March 16, 2014 11:39 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

D.C. area closed Monday on snowfall | Focus on Ukraine, Federal Reserve

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

The House and Senate are in recess, but there are a few field hearings, including one regarding the California drought. Snowfall in the Washington area could impact the timing of some reports and events, as the Washington, D.C. area is closed for the day.

The week opens with a major focus on the Crimea referendum. The potential for tensions to intensify is evident, and this will continue to be a market focus.

Wednesday will be an economic focal point for the week ahead as that’s the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. It will also mark the first press conference for Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, so that will keep markets occupied at midweek. Around the FOMC meeting are a smattering of updates on manufacturing and housing. Monday opens with the Empire State manufacturing index, Industrial Production and the Housing Market Index. Tuesday will bring the latest CPI information and data on US housing starts. On the other side of the FOMC meeting will see Thursday bring the release of weekly jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed index, Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators. And the week wraps up with the Atlanta Fed index. Meanwhile, China’s economic data has been disappointing so any additional data or actions on the part of the Chinese government or central bank have potential to capture market attention.

For agriculture, more data will come on winter wheat as Colorado is scheduled to add their crop and weather observations to the Monday information flow. The Thursday Weekly Export Sales data remains an important update for markets with the week wrapping up with monthly data on Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage from USDA. As we’ve seen, the situation with Ukraine continues as another watch point for wheat futures in particular, with any additional actions by China on soybeans or any crop updates from South America also potential factors that traders will watch.

Monday, March 17
Washington weather: Snowfall could again disrupt activity in the nation's capital – impacting some weekly releases and events.
President Obama meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington.
Iran and six world powers, including the US, begin another round of nuclear talks.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Housing Market Index | Empire State Mfg Survey | Treasury International Capital | Industrial Production
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS)

Tuesday, March 18
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet in Singapore to discuss territorial disputes.
Germany's top court rules on the legality of Germany joining the European Stability Mechanism.
Economic reports: ICI weekly money market mutual fund data | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | Housing Starts | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | FOMC meeting begins | Consumer Price Index
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) Meat Price Spreads (ERS)

Wednesday, March 19
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen holds a press conference.
FOMC makes a policy announcement. Another $10 billion in tapering is widely expected, and the focus will be on any changes to forward guidance.
California drought relief: Field hearing. House Natural Resources Committee field hearing titled "California Water Crisis and Its Impacts: The Need for Immediate and Long-Term Solutions." Fresno City Council Chambers, 2600 Fresno St., Fresno, Calif.
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | Current Account | FOMC Meeting Announcement | FOMC Forecasts | Fed Chairwoman Press Conference
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA) | Weekly National Petroleum Report (API)
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors (AMS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Milk Production (NASS) | Wheat Data (ERS)

Thursday, March 20

Results of the Federal Reserve's stress tests are released.
Additional sanctions against Russia are likely to be the focus of proceedings as EU leaders hold a two-day meeting in Brussels.
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | Leading Indicators | Existing Home Sales | Phila. Fed Survey | FHFA House Price Index
Energy reports: EIA Natural Gas Report
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Fruit and Tree Nut Data (ERS) | Vegetables and Pulses Data (ERS)

Friday, March 21
Markets in Japan are closed for the vernal equinox.
International Research Forum on Monetary Policy is held in Washington through Saturday.
Economics reports: Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations Survey
USDA reports: Chickens and Eggs (NASS) | Cattle on Feed (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS)


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






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