Thursday's Economic Calendar Features Trade, Labor Reports

Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

Two of the three reports on today's economic calendar will provide new information on trade data, and the third will be employment-related.

International Trade data will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus estimate calls for little change from last month, showing a trade gap of -$48.8 billion. The estimates range from a more bearish gap of -$52 billion to a slightly more bullish -$45 billion. Larger gaps, indicated by bigger negative values, are bearish because they indicate that the country is importing more in goods than it exports.

Jobless Claims data will also be reported at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus estimate for initial claims is slightly less than last week, at 415,000 versus 422,000. The range of values for initial claims is quite small, from a more bullish 400,000 to a more bearish 430,000.

A break below 400,000 could be seen as very bullish because it would cross a psychological threshold. We have seen stronger rallies in stocks when the number drops below that level. A move to or higher than 450,000 would be bearish and confirm a weakening of the labor market.

Wholesale Trade comes in at 10 a.m. ET. There are two components to the report, inventories and sales. Inventories are expected to grow by 1 percent, while sales are seen growing by 1.2 percent. This would be an ideal ratio, showing that inventories are being built in anticipation of sales but sales are outpacing that build.

The most bearish outcome would be a large build in inventories and a decline in sales. That would reflect the extremes of the range for each, with inventories seen growing by 1.5 percent at the high while sales are seen as declining by -1 percent at the low end of the range.