What the Day's Data Could Bring

by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

The weekly purchase applications for homes and crude oil inventory data are on today's economic calendar. In addition, the Census Bureau's Quarterly Services Survey and the Fed's Beige Book will be released.

The weekly MBA Purchase Applications will be reported at 7.a.m ET. I focus only on the purchases component of the mortgage report because it is viewed as a leading indicator of future economic activity.

There are no forecasts made for this release, but last week's purchases came in at 191.4. A reading higher by 5 percent or more would be bullish, while a number lower by the same margin would be bearish.

The Census Bureau's Quarterly Services Survey will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The survey covers a broad range of companies, largely in the information and technology groups. The last quarter-over-quarter change was up by 1 percent, while the year-over-year reading was up 3.8 percent. Numbers in this range would be bullish, while drops 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 draw of -0.3 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a very large draw of -5.512 million barrels instead.

If the EIA data confirms this draw, it could be bullish for crude. If instead the reduction is smaller than the API's draw or is a positive number, indicating a build, it could be bearish for crude.

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.

At 2 p.m. ET, the Fed's Beige Book will be released. This is an anecdotal survey by region of the economy. As such, traders often attempt to glean early signs of expansion or contraction in the economy before lagging indicators are released. By: Bryan McCormick (bryan.mccormick@optionmonster.com)