On the economic front, Monday and Tuesday of this week are the calm before a storm of reports with market-moving potential hits on Wednesday.
The biggest news in the first two days of the week is the June Empire Manufacturing Index, a survey of manufacturers in New York State, conducted by the Federal Reserve of New York. If you think that’s a ho-hum event, you’re absolutely right.
But the pace of news—and the importance of individual reports, ratchets up on Wednesday.
That day the Census Bureau releases the May numbers on housing starts and building permits. Everyone wants to know if the winding down of Federal subsidies for home purchases will slow construction activity and by how much. The May data will be the first indication of how much the end of subsidies at the end of April hurt construction activity.
The same day brings reports on industrial production and capacity utilization. After the very disappointing data on May jobs—the private sector created just 41,000 jobs in the month—this data takes on greater significance. Wall Street will be watching to see if the economy is showing enough growth so that the pace of job creation might pick up in June and July.
Wednesday’s final report is a sneak peak at Thursday’s report on consumer inflation—Wednesday’s Producer Price Index measures price changes at the wholesale level. On Thursday the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is expected to come in close to flat, showing that inflation isn’t any danger right now and that the Federal Reserve won’t feel any great pressure to raise interest rates any time soon.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see stocks go into a holding pattern on Tuesday as traders decide to sit on their money until they know what the data shows.