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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Monday: Pending Home Sales, Dallas Fed Mfg Survey

by Calculated Risk on 4/27/2014 08:30:00 PM

This will be a busy week ... Tim Duy has a preview of the FOMC meeting: FOMC Week

The FOMC will wrap up a two-day meeting this Wednesday. I suspect the subsequent statement will be met with little fanfare. There simply has been little in the way of data to prompt any new policy path. Steady as she goes.

To be sure, the Fed will be greeted by the Q1 GDP report Wednesday morning, and it is widely expected to be very weak. But incoming data (retail sales, auto sales, industrial production, and employment, for example) suggests that much of this weakness was weather related while the underlying pace of activity, albeit arguably unexciting, remains unchanged. In short, the economy is evolving largely according to the Fed's script, and thus we should expect no major policy change. I anticipate the statement will reflect a greater confidence that the first quarter growth hiccup was a weather effect, that low inflation remains a concern, and a reiteration of the Fed's commitment to a low-rate policy path as long as inflation remains a concern. And another $10 billion cut in asset purchases to push the taper further along.

The Fed may identify housing as an area of concern.
CR: I expect the FOMC to announce a $10 billion decrease in asset purchases, to blame the early year weakness mostly on the weather, and to express some concern about housing and also concern that inflation is too low.  More of the same ...

And Jim Hamilton has a discussion of the recent increase in gasoline prices: Oil and gasoline prices: many still missing the big picture
The international price of crude oil ultimately determines the price Americans pay for gasoline at the pump. Seasonal factors can bring the price temporarily below the long-run relation, and this accounted for the temporarily low gasoline prices that we saw last fall and winter. Movements in gasoline prices back up this spring are basically a return to normal.

And crude oil prices have remained stable despite impressive gains in U.S. production of shale oil, referring to oil produced from tight geological formations using horizontal fracturing methods. These new drilling techniques have added 2.5 million barrels of daily U.S. oil production since 2010. Why hasn’t that new oil brought lower prices?
For the next several years, the world should be able to continue to increase field production of crude oil, as long as the price stays at current levels. The real message from the new technology is this: oil prices have been remarkably steady over the last several years because of– not in spite of– the important added contribution of tight oil.
• At 10:00 AM ET, Pending Home Sales Index for March. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in the index.

• At 10:30 AM, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for April. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for April.

Schedule for Week of April 20th

Ranking Economic Data

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: the S&P futures are up 3 and DOW futures are up 23 (fair value).

Oil prices are mixed with WTI futures at $100.79 per barrel and Brent at $109.58 per barrel.

Below is a graph from for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are around $3.66 per gallon (up sharply over the last three months and more than 10 cents above the level of a year ago).  If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.

Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by