The Week Ahead: March 25-31, 2013

March 25, 2013 01:54 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Congress on two-week Easter recess | Focus on USDA reports Thursday

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

Both the House and Senate have begun their spring recesses. The Senate returns on April 8. The House returns on April 9.

On the economic front, several Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, give speeches this week. On the report front, updates on manufacturing and the housing sector are due this week, along with another update on the performance of the US economy. Monday will bring both the Dallas and Chicago Fed manufacturing updates, with Bernanke also on tap to speak. Tuesday brings Durable Goods orders and New Home Sales along with the Richmond Fed reading on manufacturing. Pending home sales figures will be released on Wednesday, with Thursday bringing the GDP update, jobless claims, Chicago manufacturing and the Richmond Fed reading on manufacturing in the district. Friday will close out with Personal Income and Expenditures along with Consumer Sentiment. Also, Friday is Good Friday, which will see the markets closed but the government is still going to be open. However, little activity is expected in Washington.

For agriculture, Thursday will be the major focus with the release of the Weekly Export Sales report in the morning, but the real attention will be on the Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports due out at 11 am CT. The afternoon will bring the release of the quarterly Hogs & Pigs report. Weather will remain a watch point for traders, with a focus both on the Plains and Corn Belt domestically and the South American weather situation as well. Demand from China is also a potential factor in trading, especially since there are delays out of Brazil. Like financial markets, grain and soybean futures trading is closed on Friday.

Looking ahead at congressional issues, action will come on gun control, immigration reform, and other topics. Some congressional sources predict the timeline for immigration reform could be slipping.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) previously detailed plans to bring legislation up the first week back to begin debate on competing gun control initiatives. Reid also said he expects to be briefed early next month on a bipartisan immigration reform proposal that could be the basis for bringing up the matter on the floor. A Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization bill (S 601) that was reported unanimously by the Environment and Public Works Committee March 20 is another April agenda item. Reid said the WRDA bill, approved in committee 18-0, could be the second bill he brings up this spring. The legislation reauthorizes the US Army Corps of Engineers' civil works program and is viewed as an infrastructure development measure. Also on the Senate agenda will be efforts to confirm several of President Obama's nominees for Cabinet posts, including Interior and Energy. Expected to move quickly is the nomination of Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. The nomination was approved by the Senate Banking Committee March 19. A less certain outcome awaits the confirmation of Richard Cordray, nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Monday, March 25
Cyprus: Deal reached on bailout plan agreement, preventing default or ejection from the monetary union.
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at midday on financial-crisis lessons at the London School of Economics.
Federal Reserve: The Fed's William Dudley addresses the Economic Club of New York.
Japan holds a summit with the EU: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, will hold talks with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso on regional affairs and mutual co-operation. They are expected to declare the launch of formal negotiations on a free-trade accord.
EU finance: The European Commission is expected to adopt a paper on long-term financing of the European economy. The commission’s aim is to start a debate on the challenges associated with financing long-term investment needs by governments and companies.
Passover begins at sundown: Markets in Israel close through Thursday
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Dallas Fed Mfg Survey
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Food Price Outlook (ERS) | Poultry Slaughter (NASS) | Cotton Ginnings NASS

Tuesday, March 26
Federal Reserve: Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks about the US monetary policy.
BRICS summit in South Africa – Brazil, Russia, India and China and South Africa meet in Durban, South Africa (to March 27). The five countries represent a third of the world’s total population, with combined nominal GDP of $13.6 trillion.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: S&P Case-Shiller HPI | New Home Sales | Consumer Confidence | Richmond Fed Mfg Index | Durable Goods Orders | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Livestock and Meat Domestic Data (ERS) | Price Reactions after USDA Livestock Reports NASS | Monthly Milk Cost of Production (ERS)

Wednesday, March 27

India: Markets are closed.
Federal Reserve: Various regional Fed speakers hold forth about monetary policy.
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) | Pending Home Sales Index
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Agricultural Prices (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Peanut Stocks and Processing (NASS) | Dairy Data (ERS)

Thursday, March 28
US markets: US bond market closes early, in advance of Good Friday. A number of markets are closed for Holy Thursday, including Mexico's and Venezuela's.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | GDP | Chicago PMI | KC Mfg Index
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: US Export Sales (FAS) | Prospective Plantings (NASS) | Rice Stocks (NASS) | Grain Stocks (NASS) | Quarterly Hogs and Pigs (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Egg Products (NASS)

Friday, March 29

All markets are closed in the US for Good Friday, as are those in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K., among others.
Economic reports: Personal Income and Outlays | Consumer Sentiment
USDA reports: Vegetables and Pulses Outlook (ERS) | Rice Yearbook Data (ERS) | Oil Crops Yearbook Data (ERS) | Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook (ERS)


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






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