Sunday, December 10, 2006

Coming Up This Week

The trade deficit and the FOMC announcement are on Tuesday. Expect the usual massive amount of parsing regarding the Fed's statement.

Retail Sales and business inventories come out on Wednesday. Retail sales have dropped for the last two months. Also Wal-Mart announced it's same store November sales actually decreased last month for the first time in a, well, long time. So this is a pretty important number. But I would caution, Christmas shopping has become a notoriously late in the season affair, especially with the increasing use of gift cards that are used in January.

Import/Export prices and weekly jobless claims are on Thursday. The 4-week jobless claims number has been moving up for the last few weeks, so we should keep an eye on that number.

Finally we have CPI, Empire State Index (NY manufacturing) and Industrial production on Friday.

This is also the last really full week of work and trading before Christmas starts in earnest. I would expect Friday the 22 to be very light, and Thursday maybe so as well. So this week's numbers could take on a disproportionate importance for traders.

For anyone who wants to play along at home, go to the NBER link on the right hand side and click on economic numbers and statistics.