Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wednesday: July Existing Home Sales, FOMC Minutes

by Bill McBride on 8/21/2012 09:07:00 PM

Europe is coming back from vacation, from the WSJ: Europe Pressures Intensify

After a summer lull, Greece is again Ms. Merkel's biggest headache.

The Greek government, struggling with depression-like conditions that have pushed the economy to the brink, is likely to need many billions of euros of additional aid to avoid bankruptcy.

... The chancellor is set to meet with French President François Hollande on Thursday and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday, meetings the chancellor's aides say will help determine Berlin's course.

... The chancellor isn't likely to reach a decision for several weeks, German officials said. In part, they said, she is waiting for two developments that could expand or constrain her options: Germany's constitutional court is due to rule on Sept. 12 on whether the euro zone can launch its permanent bailout fund, and inspectors from the European Union and the IMF are due to report on the size of Greece's finance shortfall. The latter could take until October, some euro-zone officials say.
Merkel and Samaras will meet on Friday with a press conference following ... The following week ECB President Mario Draghi will speak at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Saturday, Sept 1st at 10 AM.

On Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for July is scheduled for release by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 4.50 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in June 2012 were 4.37 million SAAR.

• At 2:00 PM, the FOMC Minutes for the meeting of July 31-August 1, 2012 will be released. Once again the minutes will be closely scrutinized for hints about QE3.

Another question for the monthly economic prediction contest:

• During the day: The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for July (a leading indicator for commercial real estate) will be released.

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