U.S. stock exchanges are open but banks and government offices are closed for the celebration of Columbus Day. Markets will be closed in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile in observance of the great explorer. Markets will also be closed in Japan, Taiwan and Canada for various reasons.
The corporate wire has an analyst meeting scheduled at Kilroy Realty (NYSE:KRC) and Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) will be reporting September assets under management. IPO restrictions expire on Zipcar (ZIP), and also the shares of Arcos Dorados Holdings (NYSE:ARCO) and TMS International (NYSE:TMS). Look for the EPS report of Mistras Group (NYSE:MG) Monday as well.
The premarket release of the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index highlights the wire Tuesday. According to the NFIB, small business confidence in the economy “plunged in August,” with the index dropping 1.8 points to 88.1. August was not so special though in that regard, as it marked the sixth consecutive monthly decline.
Overseas, trade unions are set to protest austerity measures in France Tuesday.
OPEC will publish its monthly oil market report.
The FDIC is set to vote on the Volcker Rule, with regulation targeting bank investments in such fringe financial operations as hedge funds and private equity ventures.
Republican presidential candidates are due to debate once again, this time solely on economic topics. Bloomberg and the Washington Post, with WBIN-TV and Dartmouth College, host the debate on the economy, debt, deficit, taxes, trade and jobs at 7:00 PM ET.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) launches formally the third quarter earnings season Tuesday, with news also arriving from the likes of Audiovox (NASDAQ:VOXX), Century Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNBKA), Joe’s Jeans (NASDAQ:JOEZ), WD 40 (NASDAQ:WDFC) and WSP Holdings (NYSE:WH).
Look for investor and analyst meetings at Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL), The Marcus Corp. (NYSE:MCS), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Kenexa (KNXA) and Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV). IPO lockup restrictions expire on Sequans Communications (NYSE:SQNS) and Box Ships (NYSE:TEU).
Look for the regular Wednesday reports plus some carryovers from Tuesday, due to the holiday. For instance, the ICSC and Redbook Same-Store Sales Reports will be published Wednesday this week. Last week’s reports covering the period ending October 1 showed sales relatively stagnant. ICSC had week-over-week sales at plus 0.1%. Yearly comparisons shows a 3.7% growth rate at ICSC and a 4.1% rate at Redbook. Redbook is regularly higher than the ICSC, but both rates are not adjusted for inflation, which would significantly shorten them.
We’ll get the regular mortgage activity data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) in the premarket. Last week, for the period ending September 30, the MBA showed applications down roughly 4.3%. Despite low rates, the MBA’s Refinance Index fell 5.2%, while the Purchase Index, measuring activity on home buys, slipped 0.8%. The average contracted rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages backed by the FHA dropped to 4.05%, from 4.06% the week before.
The big report on the day will be the 2:00 PM ET release of the last Fed FOMC meeting minutes. This report should give us further insight into the discussion in the Fed office with regard to Operation Twist and the prospect of more quantitative easing. We’ll also have two Fed speakers addressing audiences Wednesday, with Charles Plosser and Sandra Pianalto speaking in the afternoon.
Washington D.C. will be busy Wednesday, with a House Financial Services subcommittee considering oversight of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Meanwhile, the Senate may vote on trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama Wednesday or during the week. Finally, the U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes its short-term energy outlook.
Markets are closed in Brazil, Venezuela and Israel Wednesday. At home here, look for corporate meetings at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Analogic (NASDAQ:ALOG) and Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE:HPP). IPO lockup curbs end for Stag Industrial (STIR). The earnings schedule has news from ADTRAN (NASDAQ:ADTN), Art’s Way Manufacturing (NASDAQ:ARTW), Bank of South Carolina (NASDAQ:BKSC), Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK), Host Hotels and Resorts (NYSE:HST), Oil-Dri (NYSE:ODC), Pepsico (NYSE:PEP), Premier Exhibitions (NASDAQ:PRXI) and Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI).
The regular weekly jobless claims data should get most of the attention Thursday morning, if not only due to the fresh Employment Situation Report still on the collective mind of investors. Last week’s data covering the week ending October 1 produced a week-to-week increase of 6,000 claims, to 401K for the most recent period. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast claims at 405K this week.
The International Trade data for August is due in the premarket Thursday. Economists expect the trade deficit to have expanded to $46.0 billion, from the $44.8 billion deficit reported for July.
Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index is up for report at 9:45 AM ET. Last week’s data showed the index improved to a still bad minus 50.2 in the week ending October 2, from the minus 53 mark set the week before.
The weekly Natural Gas Report and Petroleum Status Reports come simultaneously this Thursday, due to the holiday.
Finally, at 2:00 PM, the U.S. Treasury reports on its monthly budget. Economists see the September deficit amounting to $64.5 billion, better than the $134.2 billion deficit seen in August, based on Bloomberg’s survey.
Maybe in time to sign a trade deal, South Korean President Lee Myungbak convenes with President Obama in D.C. Raj Rajaratnam gets sentenced for insider trading in New York.
Markets are closed in Israel for holiday. In the states, look for meetings at Gap (NYSE:GPS), Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE:MJN), MetroPCS (PCS), Approach Resources (NASDAQ:AREX) and Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH). Reporting earnings: Emmis Communications (NASDAQ:EMMS), Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS), Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), MEDTOX Scientific (NASDAQ:MTOX), National Bankshares (NASDAQ:NKSH), Safeway (NYSE:SWY), Uranium Energy (NYSEMKT:UEC), Valmont Industries (NYSE:VMI) and Winnebago Industries (NYSE:WGO).
Retail Sales are up for the month of September at 8:30 AM ET. Economists see the month driving 0.8% growth, versus no change in August, based on Bloomberg’s survey. When excluding autos, economists expect 0.4% growth.
Import and Export Prices are scheduled for report at 8:30 as well. Based on Bloomberg’s survey, economists see import prices down 0.5% in September, versus the 0.4% drop in August.
The preliminary report for October is expected to show the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index improved to 60.0, from the 59.4 closing mark for September.
Finally, at 10:00 AM ET, Business Trade data is due for release. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see business inventories up 0.4% in August, matching against the same rate of growth in July. What matters here is the relation between business sales and inventories, and last month saw sales growth of 0.7%. If the same trend continues, it’ll be good news for shares.
G-20 finance ministers are set to meet in Paris, France Friday.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.