Thursday's Economic Calendar Full Of Market-Moving Data

Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

The economic calendar is full today, with a number of important releases in the morning that include inflation numbers, two regional manufacturing reports, industrial production data, and unemployment claims.

Four of the reports will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, opening a potentially volatile period depending on the results.

The Consumer Price Index will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The report comes in two forms: the so-called heading number includes food and energy, while the "core" number excludes those categories.

The headline number is expected to show a monthly gain of 0.2 percent, from a range of estimates between a bullish -0.2 percent and a more inflationary 0.4 percent at the high. The core number is also expected to show a monthly change of 0.3 percent, from estimates ranging between a disinflationary gain of 0.1 percent to a more inflationary 0.3 percent.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey data also comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consensus calls for a drop to -4, but this is a notoriously volatile number with a wide range of estimates. This time the range is from a more bearish -15 to a bullish gain of 1. A number that exceeds either end of the range will produce a strong market response.

Jobless Claims will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus forecast calls for a decrease to 410,000 claims, down from last week's 414,000. Estimates range from a more bullish 400,000 to a bearish 434,000. A drop below the psychologically important 400,000 level would be quite bullish, while a number at or above 450,000 would be equally bearish.

The Current Account data, measuring U.S. trade balance, is the last report to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Most economists expect the gap to widen to -$122.5 billion, though estimates range from a bearish -$188.4 billion to a relatively bullish -$105 billion.

Industrial Production comes out at 9:15 a.m. ET. The consensus calls for a gain of 0.1 percent. Estimates range from a bearish -0.4 percent to a bullish 0.3 percent.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey is the last report of the morning, coming out at 10 a.m. ET. Last month's number showed a very large drop to -30.7, but most economists expect the number to come in this time at -15.

That would still indicate contraction but would be seen as a big improvement. The range is from a bearish -25 to a very bullish -2. If the number breaks either end of the range, it would produce a strong reaction in the markets. If the number is weaker than -30.7, it would be a very negative surprise because it is not seen in any of the forecasts.

The SEMI book-to-bill ratio for the semiconductor industry comes out after the close at 6 p.m. ET and will likely impact after-hours trading in the group and tomorrow morning.