Five Stock Market Changers
to Watch This Week
Interest rates: The Fed will announce benchmark U.S. interest rates on Tuesday (2:15 p.m.). The rate itself is likely to stay at virtually zero, but investors will watch language the committee uses in its statement for signs more massive easing is in store for a flagging recovery.
Housing: The week is dotting with housing figures, including the homebuilders’ survey on the economy (Monday 10 a.m.), housing starts (Tuesday 8:30 a.m.), sales of existing homes (Thursday 10 a.m.), and new home sales (Friday 10 a.m.). Given the steady drumbeat of bad news about impending foreclosures, these releases could turn sentiment around, reinforce the gloom, or simply muddy things further.
Fed talkers: Three Federal Reserve members will speak this week, all of them conveniently after the Tuesday rate decision. Charles Evans is scheduled Thursday (10:40 a.m.), then Jeffrey Lacker and Charles Plosser on Friday (1 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively). Paul Volcker, the Reagan-era Fed Chairman and today an adviser to President Obama, speaks on Thursday (1 p.m.).
Factory orders: Durable goods orders (think refrigerators and cars) are a good early signal of a rebound or continued malaise. On Friday (8:30 a.m.) we’ll get an estimate of new orders. A revision follows in two weeks.
Major earnings: Discover Financial, Lennar (Monday), AutoZone, Carnival, ConAgra, FactSet, Scholastic Corp., Adobe Systems, Cintas, Darden Restaurants, Progress Software (Tuesday), CarMax, General Mills, Jefferies Group, Zale, Bed Bath & Beyond, Copart, IHS, Red Hat, Steelcase (Wednesday), Neogen, Rite Aid, Texas Industries, Vail Resorts, Comtech Telecom, Finish Line, Nike, Saba Software, Spectrum Control, TIBCO Software (Thursday), KB Home (Friday).
Next Week: Quarterly GDP will be released Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8:30 a.m.