by Bill McBride on 5/05/2012 01:01:00 PM
Saturday, May 05, 2012
• Summary for Week Ending May 4th
This will be a light week for economic releases. The key economic release is the March trade balance report to be released on Thursday.
There will be several speeches by Fed officials, including from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on bank regulation.
The elections in Europe will be a focus on Sunday.
On Sunday, France and Greece will hold elections. In France, François Hollande is expected to win, although recent polls are close.
In Greece, no party will win a majority and many of the minor parties are expected to get a boost from the anti-austerity vote.
3:00 PM: Consumer Credit for March. The consensus is for a $9.8 billion increase in consumer credit.
7:30 AM: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for April.
Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.
This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986. The index declined to 92.5 in March from 94.3 in February.
The consensus is for an increase to 93.0 in April.
10:00 AM ET: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for March from the BLS.
This graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (purple), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.
Jobs openings increased slightly in February, and the number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up. Quits also increased in February, and quits are now at the highest level since 2008. These are voluntary separations and more quits might indicate some improvement in the labor market.
7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the mortgage purchase applications index. This index has been weak this year, although this does not include all the cash buyers.
10:00 AM: Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for March. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in inventories.
8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims an increased to 366,000 from 365,000 last week.
8:30 AM: Trade Balance report for March from the Census Bureau.
Exports increased slightly in February, while imports decreased sharply. Exports are well above the pre-recession peak and up 9% compared to February 2011; imports are near the pre-recession high and imports are up about 8% compared to February 2011.
The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to increase to $49.5 billion in March, up from from $46.0 billion in February. Export activity to Europe will be closely watched due to economic weakness.
8:30 AM: Import and Export Prices for March. The consensus is a for a 0.2% decrease in import prices.
9:30 AM: Speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, "Banks and Bank Lending: The State of Play", At the 48th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition, Chicago, Illinois
8:30 AM: Producer Price Index for April. The consensus is for no change in producer prices (0.2% increase in core).
9:55 AM: Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (preliminary for May). The consensus is for sentiment to decline to 76.2 from 76.4 in April.