7 Minutes Of Terror Means?

by: Markos Kaminis
  1. How long it took NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, to go from 13K MPH to zero.
  2. How long it took Usain Bolt to win the 100 meter dash.
  3. The length of Ben Bernanke's Monday morning recorded video discussion.
  4. The tense moments after jobless claims are eventually reported above 400K.
  5. The time following the release of new Chinese real estate data.
  6. What happens if Dean Foods (DF) and Tyson Foods (TSN) cut their outlooks on costs.
  7. The anxious moments between Greece's next debt issuance and reports of market interest.

Seven minutes of terror does of course refer to how long it took the Curiosity rover to go from its entry into the atmosphere of Mars' to reaching the ground of the red planet. However, this week offers several moments of high interest for investors as well. For the most part, the week looks to be on the boring side actually, but with Ben Bernanke speaking twice for the record, Greece getting ready to come to market with a debt issuance, Chinese real estate data set for report, and the high profile earnings reports of Tyson Foods, Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Cinemark (CNK), Walt Disney (DIS), Boeing (BA), Cablevision (CVC), Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), Macy's (M), Dean Foods , Monster Beverage (MNST) and J.C. Penney (JCP), things could get interesting enough.

The Fed chief is scheduled to speak twice this week on Monday and Tuesday. However, his town hall style discussion with educators should be focused to their interests. I expect Bernanke will continue on the topics of educating consumers and providing transparent, easy-to-read financial contracts to keep Americans from entering into bad deals. His pre-recorded message to the 32nd General Conference of the International Association for Research Income & Wealth will surely include commentary about the current economic situation. It is possible that the Federal Reserve might want to give the market some better insight into any plans it might have for its September meeting, but Bernanke usually goes by the book. Thus, while it's possible the market might read into something he says, I doubt he will purposefully communicate something different than the FOMC did last week.

On Friday, Greece will announce the details of a planned August 14 offering of 26-week T-bills. It's a short-term instrument, and so there's less time for the nation to default ahead of its maturation. That's probably the best thing going for it, as speculation increases about Greece needing more funds.

Important Chinese real estate data reaches the wire Wednesday when residential real estate developer China Vanke publishes its first half results. Also, China Lodging (HTHT) reports its results on Thursday. The "bubble" in Chinese real estate values remains a risk for the region, and given what's happened here at home, for the rest of us as well.

Several weeks ago, I authored an article warning investors that some Thursday soon might offer special risk, as I see weekly jobless claims rising again above 400K. I think the psychological impact of that news, as long as it doesn't come long after recession is clear, would significantly impact stocks. The federal government said last week that the tricky figures reported in July, mis-adjusting for seasonal plant shutdowns at Ford (F) and GM (GM), should be working their way out of the claims data now. So, the truth will be told …

With the latest surge in corn prices, protein producers and food companies generally could later come under cost pressures. Two important companies in the food industry report this week and have the attention of the market. Thus, the reports of Tyson Foods and Dean Foods could impact the food sector, especially with the companies' guidance about the future.

There are several economic reports on the slate this week, including international trade data, import and export prices, consumer credit, wholesale trade and the treasury budget. The corporate wire is still busy as well, with Cinemark reporting for the first time since the tragic event in Colorado. Disney might offer insight into consumer spending, as companies of all sorts offer anecdotal insight into economic development. However, not many data points can cause seven minutes of terror for stocks this week, save perhaps those we've discussed here. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) increased 0.5% last week, and I'm not expecting much from a light news week in the holiday month of August.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.