Wednesday's Economic Calendar Features Housing, Trade, Oil

Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

Today's economic calendar is light, with housing, trade, and crude supplies data on tap. How much this information will matter in the current market context remains unknown.

At 7 a.m. ET the weekly MBA Purchase Applications data will be released. There are no surveys of economists for this data and therefore no estimates. I look only at the purchases component of this mortgage report because it indicates new economic activity, as opposed to refinancing.

Last week purchases came in at 185.8. A reading higher than that number by 5 percent or more would be bullish; a reading lower by that same margin or more would be bearish.

Wholesale Trade comes out at 10 a.m. ET. The report has two components, inventory and sales. Consensus for inventories is that they have grown by 1 percent. At the low end of estimates, inventory growth is seen coming in at up 0.3 percent. At the upper end growth is seen at 1.5 percent.

For sales, most economists project growth of just 0.3 percent. At the high end of estimates, bullish growth of 1 percent is forecast. At the low end, a bearish decline of -0.2 percent is seen. The worst outcome for the report would be a strong surge in inventories and a drop in sales, which would suggest an inventory glut.

The ideal is for sales to remain positive and outpace inventory growth. It would be more moderately bearish for sales to grow, but at a slower rate than inventories.

The EIA Petroleum Status Report will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Before the EIA data comes out, the American Petroleum Institute puts out a competing report based on its own supply data.

The forecast for both reports was for a build of 1.5 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a draw of -5.213 million barrels instead.

If the EIA data confirms this draw or shows an even larger one, it could be bullish for crude. If instead the draw number is smaller than the API's -5.213 million barrels, 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.