Monday, February 23, 2015

Tuesday: Yellen Testimony, Case-Shiller House Prices

by Bill McBride on 2/23/2015 06:32:00 PM

A few excerpts from a preview of Yellen's Testimony by Goldman Sachs economists Kris Dawsey and Chris Mischaikow:

Fed Chair Yellen will be presenting her semi-annual monetary policy testimony—sometimes called the "Humphrey-Hawkins" testimony—on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (February 24 and 25). We expect Yellen not to stray far from the message of the January FOMC statement and meeting minutes, and we do not think she will preempt the Committee by sending a strong signal on whether "patience" will be removed from the statement at the March meeting.

The testimony will probably not be a major market mover. Indeed, the average absolute yield change around the Fed Chair's semi-annual testimony has declined over time and is considerably lower than the average absolute change around post-FOMC press conferences. Nonetheless, to the extent there are risks to our "don't rock the boat" expectation, we think they are skewed toward a slightly more dovish tilt.
The Fed will also release its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report at 10:00AM on Tuesday February 24, which is a roughly fifty-page document that provides additional background, charts, etc. supporting the Chair's testimony. Typically, this document generates very little interest. However, the July statement that "valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched—particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries," received considerable attention.
• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for December. Although this is the December report, it is really a 3 month average of October, November and December prices. The consensus is for a 4.7% year-over-year increase in the National Index for December. The Zillow forecast is for the National Index to increase 4.7% year-over-year in December, and for prices to increase 0.5% month-to-month seasonally adjusted.

• At 10:00 AM, Testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Washington, D.C.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for February.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Conference Board's consumer confidence index for February. The consensus is for the index to decrease to 99.1 from 102.9.