Looking ahead at this coming week's economic calendar and events, we will be able to draw some conclusions on the effect that the strong winter had on the economy and various economic sectors. Let's take a look at some of the major events that will have a big impact on the market.
-The biggest event that will take place this week will be held on Friday with US GDP reporting. The fourth quarter GDP estimate has been revised down by economists from 3.2% growth QoQ to 2.5%, mainly from sluggish sales in November and December and the impact of the winter storm had on consumers. It will be important to note if a major slowdown in GDP growth will have any effect on the Fed's decision to continue tapering their bond-buying program.
-Consumer confidence will be reporting on Tuesday, which is a vital leading indicator that helps predict consumer's future spending, the major part of the US economy. After two consecutive months of rising consumer confidence, economists are expecting a drop from 80.7 to 80.0.
-Major data relating to home sales will be out this week, with new home sales scheduled to report on Wednesday, and pending home sales reporting on Friday. New home sales measure the number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month. Pending home sales measure the change in the number of homes under contract to be sold, but are still awaiting the closed transaction. Economists are predicting new home sales to fall 3.4% to an annualized rate of 400,000 homes in January. Pending home sales estimates are more of a mixed bag, however. Some economists are expecting a 2% rise in sales, while others are expecting a decline due to weather and a slowdown in the NAHB home index.
-Durable goods orders will be reporting on Thursday. Economists are predicting a decrease in core durable goods orders by 1.5%, and durable goods orders to decrease by .3%. These estimates are improvements from last month, however, as core durable goods orders fell 4.2% and durable goods orders fell 1.3%
-This Thursday will also hold second half of new Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Humphrey Hawkins testimony, which was rescheduled due to weather. It will be important to watch to see if the Yellen signals about a change in policy, or another dovish surprise.
Earnings and Market Watch
-As earnings season rounds into close, there are still a handful of major companies that are set to report this week. Both Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lows (NYSE:LOW) report on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, respectively. Home Depot is expecting revenue to be $17.92b with an EPS of $.71. Lows is expecting revenue to be $11.6b with an EPS of $.31. These two companies will be a key indicator on the health of the housing and construction market. Target (NYSE:TGT) will report on Wednesday and is expecting revenue to be $21.54b with an EPS of $.82. The quarterly conference call will be one to listen to, as management will hopefully shed more light on their recent hacking issue. Thursday will also feature the reporting of other major retailers, such as Gap (GAP), where management is expected to discuss more about their decision to increase their 'minimum wage' for employees. The minimum wage will be an important development to watch unfold for major retailers in the coming quarters. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Decker Outdoors (NASDAQ:DECK) also report on Thursday of this week.
On Sunday, I will recap this week's major events and preview next week's events as well.