The Week Ahead: Nov. 11-17, 2013

November 10, 2013 10:42 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

FY 2014 budget conference | Yellen nomination hearing | US economic outlook | EPA and RFS | Farm bill talks

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

Janet Yellen's nomination to be head of the Federal Reserve, another FY 2014 budget conference, a hearing on the US economy, a hearing appearance by EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and continued work behind the scenes on farm bill conference issues are the highlights in Washington this week.

In Congress, House members return following a 10-day recess and that could mean another public House-Senate farm bill conference session will be on tap – either publicly or behind closed doors. The Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing on the current economic situation on Wednesday and most financial market watchers will be paying close attention to the Thursday confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee for current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen to be the first woman to lead the US central bank.

On the legislative front, the House plans to consider a bill (HR 3350) that would allow Americans to keep their current health care coverage even if the coverage does not meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare. The Senate plans to move forward on drug compounding legislation (HR 3204).

Over the week, House lawmakers also plan to consider a bill (HR 982) providing for greater transparency in the asbestos disability claims systems and a measure (HR 2655) to reduce lawsuit abuse and increase attorney accountability.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a cloture vote for Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. ET on the nomination of Cornelia Pillard to be a US district court judge for the District of Columbia. If the motion is not agreed to, senators will then vote to cut off debate on the motion to proceed to the Drug Quality and Security Act (HR 3204). The House passed the bill on Sept. 28, which would clarify the Food and Drug Administration's authority over compounding pharmacies and create a uniform national standard for drug supply chain security.

There are several important hearings, with the key one coming Thursday as the Senate Banking Committee takes up Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve. The US economic outlook is the topic of a Joint Economic Committee hearing on Wednesday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be a witness at a hearing on Thursday regarding EPA accountability. That hearing could be timely if EPA, as some expect, finally announces the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements ahead of the hearing.

The economic data calendar coming up doesn’t have the "heavyweight" data in it, but still has plenty for markets to focus on, particularly near the end of the week. The Monday holiday also condenses things a bit, with Tuesday bringing the Chicago Fed update, the Treasury Budget statement arrives on Wednesday while Thursday will see the weekly jobless claims data released. Also on Thursday will be the update on International Trade and Productivity and Costs data. The week wraps up with the Empire State Manufacturing update, Import/Export prices, Industrial Production and Wholesale Trade. There are several Fed appearances, notably Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday. Otherwise traders will be digesting the flurry of Chinese economic data due out on the weekend and the key meeting of the Communist Party. Plus, markets will watch for any other economic updates out of the European Union. The US data focus remains squarely on whether or not it suggests the Fed will start tapering their asset purchases yet this year or hold off until sometime in 2014.

For agriculture, the Monday holiday also shifts things a bit, moving the weekly Crop Progress report to Tuesday and the Weekly Export Sales data to Friday morning. But there will also be trade data for market consideration on Thursday, the final data for Fiscal 2013, so we’ll find out how much of a trade surplus agriculture has generated. Beyond that, the final stages of harvest will be watched for corn and soybeans plus the weather situation for winter wheat as it emerges and gets ready to head for dormancy and winter. Demand for US crops is always a key market factor, particularly from China and other big customers.

Monday, Nov. 11
Veterans’ Day is observed in the US: The US bond market is closed in observance of Veterans Day. Equity and agricultural markets are open.
EU ministers to meet: Economy and finance ministers from the 28 EU member states will discuss negotiations with the European Parliament on the 2014 EU budget which will take place within the Conciliation Committee meeting on the same day.
Tehran nuclear talks: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet again for talks in Iran, this time in Tehran.

Tuesday, Nov. 12
Federal Reserve: Three Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to give speeches today: Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher in Melbourne, Australia, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota in St. Paul, Minn., and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart in Montgomery, Ala.
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White addresses a meeting of the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association.
CFPB semi-annual report: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) semi-annual report to Congress.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | NFIB Small Business Optimism Index | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales |
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS)


Wednesday, Nov. 13
Federal Reserve: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with educators in Washington.
Fiscal 2014 budget conference:
House and Senate conferees will meet to consider the Fiscal 2014 budget resolution.
Economic outlook: Committee hearing. Joint Economic Committee hearing to examine the current economic outlook. Witnesses: Jason Furman, chairman, Council of Economic Advisors.
Affordable Care Act implementation:
Committee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Affordable Care Act implementation and the rollout of
Foreign aid transparency and nominations: Committee markup. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will mark up foreign aid transparency legislation and vote on pending nominations.
Nuclear negotiations with Iran: Committee hearing. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Horse protection bill: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing on legislation that would amend the Horse Protection Act to require USDA to license and supervise qualified persons to inspect and diagnose sore horses at horse shows, exhibitions and similar events.
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | Treasury Budget
USDA reports: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Outlook (ERS) | Rice Outlook (ERS)


Thursday, Nov. 14
Federal Reserve: Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks about monetary policy at a Cato Institute conference.
Yellen nomination hearing: Committee hearing. Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nomination of Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Fed.
Departments of Energy, Interior Nominations: Committee hearing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider pending nominations: Steven Croley to be the general counsel of the Department of Energy; Christopher Smith to be an assistant secretary of Energy for fossil energy; Esther Kia'aina to be an assistant secretary of the Interior for insular areas.
Greenhouse gas standards: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and discuss draft legislation on the subject.
Affordable Care Act implementation: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Health.
EPA accountability: Committee hearing. House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on transparency within the EPA. Witnesses: Gina McCarthy, administrator, EPA.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA) | Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | International Trade | Productivity and Costs
USDA reports: National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS) | Bioenergy Data (ERS) | Latest US Agricultural Trade Data (ERS)


Friday, Nov. 15
EU spending curbs: The European Commission will give its verdict on European Union member states’ efforts to curb public spending.
Syria: Deadline for chemical-weapons watchdog to outline "destruction milestones" for Syria's chemical arsenal. Economic reports: Empire State Mfg Survey | Import & Export Prices | Industrial Production | Wholesale Trade
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Livestock & Meat International Trade Data (ERS) Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Meat Price Spreads (ERS) | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS) | Sugar & Sweeteners Outlook (ERS)


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






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