By Bryan McCormick
Today's economic calendar is short, with two regular releases concerning housing and crude oil inventories. At 2 p.m. ET we will also see the release of the FOMC minutes, which will be studied carefully by bond market traders in particular for any hints about potential changes in monetary policy.
MBA Purchase Applications data will come out at 7 a.m. ET. I look only at the purchases sub-component of this mortgage report, as do many traders, as it is indicative of future economic activity following a home purchase.
There are no estimates available for this report, but last week's purchases came in at 194.9. A reading that is higher by 5 percent or more would be bullish, while one that is lower by the same margin would be bearish.
The EIA Petroleum Status Report will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Before the EIA data comes out, the American Petroleum Institute issues a competing report based on its own supply data.
The forecast for both reports was for a build of 1 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a larger build of 2.669 million barrels instead.
If the EIA data confirms this bigger than forecast build or shows an even larger one, it could be bearish for oil. If the build is smaller than the API's 2.669 million barrels or is a negative number indicating a draw, it could be bullish for crude.
The report may not have its usual impact this time. Traders are focused on the potential for refineries in Louisiana to be damaged by flood waters of the Mississippi.
The EIA is a government body, and the API is a private industry group. The two reports do not always agree either in terms of amount or direction.