The Week Ahead: Sept. 16-22, 2013

September 16, 2013 02:03 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Federal Reserve focus | House will attempt to consider food stamp funding bill

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

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and updated Fed forecasts, along with a press briefing by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke highlight the week ahead. In Congress, the House is expected to take up a food stamp funding bill, with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday releasing its annual update of the nation's long-term budget outlook. On the energy policy front, Platts on Tuesday will hold a discussion on revisions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and other issues, with Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) a participant.

The big focus will stay on the Fed in the week ahead as the FOMC holds their two-day meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. The main focus for the meeting conclusion and subsequent press conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be on whether the Fed opts to start tapering its asset purchase effort. If they do, Bernanke will use the session to fully explain the move and underscore that even if they do start to taper the asset buys, there will still be a lot of stimulus going to the economy and that interest rate hikes will be a long ways off. The Fed appears set to trim its bond- buying stimulus slightly. Most economists polled by Reuters expect the Fed to taper the purchases by about $10 billion per month, to $75 billion per month. But many also expect the Fed to emphasize its commitment to keep interest rates low for a long time.

Who will head the Fed after Bernanke's current chairmanship ends next January saw some weekend developments as one of the candidates, Lawrence Summers, took himself out of contention. The two other top contenders mentioned by President Barack Obama for the Fed job are Janet Yellen and Donald Kohn, the Fed's current vice chairwoman and past vice chairman, respectively. Both were architects of the central bank's programs since the 2008 financial crisis and supporters of the policies laid out by Bernanke.

Other items on the economic front will include the Empire State Manufacturing Index and Industrial Production data on Monday, followed by the Consumer Price Index and Housing Market Index. Wednesday will also see Housing Starts data released besides the FOMC meeting wrap up. Thursday’s run of data includes the weekly jobless claims, Existing Home Sales, the Philadelphia Fed index and Leading Indicators. Friday will see a barrage of Fed officials speak. Those could be depending in part on what the FOMC opts to do when they conclude their meeting Wednesday.

The Syria situation is still a factor that can impact a host of markets, as the announced agreement over the weekend between Russia and the US has already cooled energy futures.

For agriculture, weather remains a focus so the actual results of weekend rains will be key. Plus, traders will watch to see if the forecast still contains additional chances for precip. On the data side, today brings the weekly Crop Progress update, Thursday the Weekly Export Sales figures and the week wraps up with the monthly Cattle on Feed report. Demand news still is important on a daily basis.

On the congressional front, the focus will be on the House, as it attempts to debate and vote on a controversial bill to cut food stamp funding by $40 billion over ten years. The vote is key to getting the new farm bill saga at a potential end zone.

Deliberation on a Senate bill (S 1392) to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry is the main item in the Senate.

The House also may consider legislation (HR 761) requiring agricultural leaders to develop US sources of minerals that are important to the country's economy.

The House will consider a forest health bill (HR 1526), also known as the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act. This bill would attempt to restore employment and educational opportunities in the national forest system and reduce management costs.

In key hearings this week, the Joint Economic Committee will hold a Wednesday afternoon hearing on the economic costs of debt ceiling brinkmanship.

Money market fund rule. The House Financial Services Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will hold a Wednesday morning hearing on the Security Exchange Commission's money market fund rule proposal.

IRS audits. The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee plan a Wednesday afternoon hearing on the Internal Revenue Service's exempt organizations post-Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audit.

On the energy policy front, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade on Thursday morning will discuss the Keystone XL pipeline delays. On Wednesday morning, the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee will discuss the Obama administration's climate change policies and activities.

Monday, Sept. 16
Markets are closed in Japan for Respect for the Aged Day. Also closed: Mexico's markets.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Empire State Mfg Survey | Industrial Production
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Cotton and Wool Outlook (ERS) | Rice Outlook (ERS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Outlook (ERS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS)


Tuesday, Sept. 17
Congressional Budget Office (CBO): The CBO releases its annual update of the nation's long-term budget outlook.
Greek Prime Minister
Antonis Samaris meets EU officials in Brussels.
The United Nations General Assembly begins: Syria is high on the agenda.
Energy, Interior Dept. nominations: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing to consider pending nominations: Ronald Binz to be a commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Elizabeth Robinson to be undersecretary of Energy; and Michael Connor to be deputy secretary of Interior. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Platts will hold a discussion on revisions to the RFS and other issues. With Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)
Energy reports:
Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | FOMC meeting begins | Consumer Price Index | Treasury International Capital | Housing Market Index
USDA reports: Meat Price Spreads (ERS) | Bioenergy Data (ERS) | Weekly Weather (WAOB)


Wednesday, Sept. 18
Markets are closed in Israel, South Korea and Chile, through the end of the week, for various reasons.
Business Roundtable, an association representing chief executives of leading US companies, publishes its quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Index. The survey will provide the CEO's take on hiring, the political environment and consumer demand, among other factors.
Surface Transportation provisions implementation: Committee hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing titled "Implementing MAP-21's [Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act] Provisions to Accelerate Project Delivery."
Obama administration's climate change policy: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
Financial accountability and transparency: Committee hearing. Senate Budget Committee.
Implementation of Affordable Care Act: Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform — Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs.
Oversight of IRS exempt organizations division: Subcommittee hearing. House Ways and Means — Subcommittee on Oversight.
Federal Trade Commission nominations: Confirmation hearing. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on pending nominations: Michael O'Rielly and Terrell McSweeny to be commissioners.
Economic costs of debt-ceiling brinkmanship: Committee hearing. Joint Economic Committee.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | MBA Purchase Applications | Housing Starts | FOMC meeting announcement | FOMC forecasts | Fed chairman press conference
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook (ERS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors (AMS) | Livestock Historical Track Records (NASS) | Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS)


Thursday, Sept. 19
Finance ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) begin meeting.
Markets close in China and Taiwan, through Friday.
Management of weather and climate satellites: Subcommittee joint hearing. House Science, Space and Technology — Subcommittee on Environment.
Health care exchanges enrollment readiness: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Keystone XL Pipeline regulations: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.
Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA) | Monthly National Petroleum Report
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Current Account | Existing Home Sales | Phila. Fed Survey | Leading Indicators
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Potatoes (NASS) | Milk Production (NASS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Citrus Fruits (NASS) | Stone Fruit: World Markets & Trade (FAS)


Friday, Sept. 20
International Atomic Energy Agency holds its general meeting.
Dow Jones Industrial Average replaces Alcoa, Hewlett-Packard, and Bank of America with Nike, Visa, and Goldman Sachs Group after close.
Federal Reserve: Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George speech on the economy to Shadow Open Market Committee in New York. Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo speech on macro-prudential regulation in New Haven, Conn. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speech on monetary policy to New York Association for Business Economics. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota talk at conference on risk in options prices in New York.
Mexico central bank minutes due.
USDA reports: Cattle on Feed (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Hop Stocks (NASS) | Catfish Processing (NASS) | Catfish Feed Deliveries (NASS) | Chickens & Eggs (NASS)


Sunday, Sept. 22
Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to win handily in elections.



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






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