The Week Ahead: May 13-19, 2013

May 13, 2013 12:33 AM
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Farm bill markups | WRDA bill | Immigration markup | Nominees

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

Senate debate on a water resources (WRDA) bill (S 601), and committee markup on immigration (Senate) and the farm bill (both Senate and House) are the focus this week in Congress.

The House for the 37th time will vote Thursday on a bill (HR 45) to repeal the Obama health care law. Even if passed as expected, the Senate will not consider a similar bill. The House late in the week will debate legislation (HR 1062) to require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide an economic cost-benefit analysis of its regulations. The chamber will also consider legislation on internet governance and another SEC bill dealing with a JOBS Act requirement.

Besides the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the Senate is expected to consider some of President Obama's nominations which have been cleared for floor action. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to complete the bill early in the week, and filed cloture on the bill during the May 9 session. A vote on a motion to cut off debate on the bill is set for May 14 at noon ET. The two leaders also agreed that all first-degree amendments had to be filed by May 13 at 4 p.m. Senators began debate on the bill last week.

The Senate is expected to vote on at least two nominations to fill posts in the Obama administration. Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached an agreement to consider at any point during the week the nominations of Marilyn Tavenner to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Ernest Moniz to be secretary of energy.

Senate floor action this week or next? Farm bill proposals will be marked up Tuesday by the Senate Ag Committee, and on Wednesday by the House Ag panel. Of note, Reid wants Senate floor action on the farm bill late this week or sometime next week.

On the hearing front, a House Ways and Means subcommittee on Monday morning will examine small business and passthrough entities as part of tax reform.

OMB nominee. On Monday afternoon, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs holds a confirmation hearing for Brian Deese to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

EPA nominee. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday will meet to consider Gina McCarthy's nomination to be the administrator of the EPA. The committee tried to vote on the matter May 9, but Republicans boycotted the vote. Democratic members think they have a procedure for the vote and to clear the nomination.

EPA budget. On Wednesday morning, Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on the president's Fiscal 2014 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe is expected to testify.

Securities and Exchange (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White will testify before the House Financial Services Committee Thursday morning or a hearing on the oversight of the agency. White will discuss the SEC's agenda, operations, and Fiscal 2014 budget request.

Two key CBO reports this week. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) plans to release its updated 10-year baseline projections of federal spending, revenues, and budget deficits on Tuesday, May 14. The projections reflect new information obtained since The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013-2023 was issued in February and will be available on CBO’s website Tuesday afternoon. Also, each year, CBO works together with the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation to estimate the budgetary impact of the changes to spending programs and the tax code that were proposed in the President’s budget. That analysis of the budgetary outlook under the President’s proposals will be available on CBO’s website Friday afternoon, May 17.

At the White House, today President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom at the White House. On Wednesday, the president will deliver remarks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year. On Thursday, the president will welcome Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey to the White House for meetings and a working dinner.

Additional economic data will be coming at the market in the week ahead, with Monday bringing Retail Sales figures along with Business Inventories. Wednesday provides traders with an update on inflation at the wholesale level via the Producer Price Index, plus there will be Empire State manufacturing index, Industrial Production and the Housing Market Index. Besides the weekly jobless claims Thursday, the Consumer Price Index, Housing Starts and Philadelphia Fed index should provide a broad update on the US economic situation. The week closes out with Consumer Sentiment and Leading Indicators. Otherwise, traders will take note of several Fed speakers that are on tap, especially if the economic data comes in positive. The focus then will be on trying to decipher whether there’s any signals from Fed officials on when the stimulus efforts may start to be scaled back. Data out of China and Europe also have the ability to shift trade action and the yen/dollar relationship will be watched after the run above the 100-yen mark by the dollar.

For agriculture, traders will return their focus to Crop Progress on Monday to see just how much of a planting window really opened during the week. Weather forecasts coming out of the weekend will also be key relative to conditions down the road for planting as we arrive at the middle of May. Weekly Export Sales data will be a watch point on Thursday while Friday will bring the monthly Cattle on Feed report. Otherwise, traders will watch outside markets for any additional cues on ag market direction.

This week's Washington-related agenda: The agenda for congressional committees features tax reform, the farm bill drafts, cross border banking, the Keystone pipeline, environmental budgets, patent reform, and the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Monday, May 13
President Barack Obama meets with Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Euro zone finance ministers meet.
OMB nomination: Committee confirmation hearing. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Brian C. Deese to be deputy director, Office of Management and Budget.
Ammonium nitrate from Ukraine: International Trade Commission holds a meeting to vote on ammonium nitrate from Ukraine and is scheduled to transmit its determination and Commissioners' opinions to the Secretary of Commerce on or before May 24, 2013.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Retail Sales | Business Inventories
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS)

Tuesday, May 14
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) holds a roundtable discussion on credit ratings of securities.
Federal Reserve: Phila. Fed President Charles Plosser speaks about the economic outlook and monetary policy.
IEA: The International Energy Agency (IEA) holds a webinar on its Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2013.
Senate farm bill: Committee markup. Senate Ag Committee markup of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S 10).
Judiciary bills and nominations: Committee markup (continues Thursday, May 16). Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up pending legislation and vote on pending nominations. Agenda: S 744 — Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.
Natural gas issues: Committee news conference/briefing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a series of three forums on natural gas. Topic: Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation.
Electric reliability, animal drug fees and drug supply bills: Opening statements. House Energy and Commerce Committee opening statements (markup Wed. May 15) on pending legislation: HR 1407 — Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2013; HR 1919 — A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with respect to the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain, and for other purposes; HR 271 — Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Contracts Act of 2013.
Economic reports: ICI weekly money market mutual fund data | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | NFIB Small Business Optimism Index | Import and Export Prices
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) (WAOB) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Cotton Wool Outlook (ERS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | Rice Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Outlook (ERS)

Wednesday, May 15
House farm bill markup: House Ag Committee.
2014 Appropriations – Energy and Water: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Appropriations — Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. Witness: Daniel B. Poneman, acting secretary of Energy.
National Association for Business Economics hosts a forum: "Will the Oil and Gas Boom Reignite the Economy?"
Electric reliability, animal drug fees and drug supply bills markup: Committee markup. House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of pending legislation: HR 1407 — Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2013; HR 1919 — A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with respect to the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain, and for other purposes; HR 271 — Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Contracts Act of 2013.
US policy regarding Iran: Committee hearing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing – may be closed session.
Fiscal 2014 budget - EPA: Committee oversight hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's proposed budget request for Fiscal 2014 for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Bailouts and Dodd-Frank Act: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled "Who Is Too Big to Fail: Does Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act Enshrine Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts?"
Federal efforts for freight transportation improvement: Subcommittee panel discussion. House Transportation and Infrastructure — Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation Panel roundtable meeting titled "Coordinating Federal Efforts to Improve Freight Transportation." Participants: John D. Porcari, deputy secretary of Transportation; Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Oversight of Government Sponsored Enterprises: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises hearing on the structure and costs government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). GSEs include: The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) that promote housing development and home ownership; the National Veteran Business Development Corporation that aids small businesses run by veterans, and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac).
Preventing a nuclear Iran: Committee hearing. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | Producer Price Index | Empire State Mfg Survey | Treasury International Capital | Housing Market Index | Industrial Production
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA) | Weekly National Petroleum Report (API)
Transportation: Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
USDA reports: Turkey Hatchery (NASS) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Agricultural Chemical Usage-Field Crops (NASS) | Bioenergy Data (ERS)

Thursday, May 16
Turkey's prime minister meets with Obama in Washington.
Federal Reserve: Fed officials—including Philly Fed's Plosser, Dallas's Richard Fisher, Richmond's Jeffrey Lacker, John Williams of San Francisco, and Boston's Eric Rosengren, as well as Fed Governor Sarah Raskin—speak at various venues.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks.
Agriculture Guestworker Act: Subcommittee hearing. House Judiciary — Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing on HR 1773 - Agricultural Guestworker (AG) Act.
Keystone XL route approval: Committee markup. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will mark up pending legislation including Keystone XL route approval and General Services Administration capital investment and leasing program resolutions.
2014 Appropriations - Agriculture, Rural, FDA: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Appropriations — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Witnesses: Ed Avalos, undersecretary of Agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs; Kevin Concannon, undersecretary of Agriculture for food, nutrition, and consumer services; Elisabeth Hagen, undersecretary of Agriculture for food safety; Catherine Woteki, undersecretary of Agriculture for research, education, and economics; Michael Young, budget officer, Department of Agriculture.
Fiscal 2014 Environmental Protection Agency budget: Environment and the Economy Subcommittee (and Energy and Power Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee joint hearing.
Keystone XL pipeline and small business jobs: Subcommittee hearing. House Small Business — Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade.
E-verify and small businesses: Committee hearing. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on the impact of mandatory e-verify on small businesses.
Constraints on oil and gas production on federal lands and waters: Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform — Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements.
US-EU Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations: Subcommittee hearing. House Ways and Means — Subcommittee on Trade.
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept) | Phila. Fed Survey | Consumer Price Index | Housing Starts
Energy reports: EIA Natural Gas Report
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Meat Price Spreads (ERS) | Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Sugar & Sweeteners Outlook (ERS)

Friday, May 17
Markets are closed in Hong Kong and South Korea for Buddha's birthday.
Economic reports: Consumer Sentiment | Leading Indicators
USDA reports: Cattle on Feed (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS)

Saturday, May 18
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks about long-term economic prospects.

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






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