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The Trading Week: Dec. 27 - Dec. 31

|Includes: SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), EEA, GBB, GOLD, JYN, QQQ, UDN, USD
Dec. 24, 2010 ( – Following the Christmas holiday, the week ahead will be light on economic reports from the U.S. and Europe, but a sequence of inflation and economic activity data from Japan will put the focus on the condition of the world’s third largest economy.

In preparation for the new trading week, here is a list of the Top 10 spotlight economic events that will move the markets around the globe. 

1.    JPY- Bank of Japan Meeting Minutes, a comprehensive report of the central bank’s meeting that could provide an outlook on the economy, interest rates and future monetary policy, Sun., Dec. 26, 6:50 pm, ET. 

The minutes are expected to confirm the Bank of Japan’s ultra-accommodative monetary policy, as well as the central bank’s expectations for slow economic growth in 2011.  

2.    JPY- Japan CPI- Consumer Price Index, the main measure of inflation, Mon., Dec. 27, 6:50 pm, ET. 

Deflation has been a problem for the Japanese economy throughout 2010 and this could continue to be the case in the final months of the year, as the inflation gauge declines by 0.5% m/m from a previous reading of -0.6% m/m.

3.    JPY- Japan Industrial Production, the main gauge of industrial activity measuring the output of factories, mines and utilities, Mon., Dec. 27, 6:50 pm, ET.

Manufacturing activity in Japan is forecast to pick up by up to 1.0% m/m from the 2.0% m/m decline in the previous month.  
4.    JPY- Japan Retail Sales, an important gauge of consumer spending measuring the total sales at retail establishments, Mon., Dec. 27, 6:50 pm, ET.

Consumer spending in Japan could see a revival in November with retail sales rising by 0.4% m/m compared with the 0.2% m/m drop in October.

5.    USD- U.S. Consumer Confidence Index of consumers’ outlook on present and future economic conditions, Tues., Dec. 28, 10:00 am, ET.

      The trend of improvement in the confidence of U.S. consumers could continue with the index registering a reading of 56.3 in November from 54.1 in October.

6.    EUR- Germany CPI- Consumer Price Index, the main measure of inflation on the Euro-zone’s largest economy, Wed., Dec. 29, 2:00 am, ET. 

Inflationary pressures in Germany could increase with a consumer price index reading of 0.9% m/m, compared with 0.1% m/m in the previous month.

7.    JPY- Japan Manufacturing PMI- Purchasing Managers’ Index, a leading indicator of economic conditions measuring the activity of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector, Wed., Dec. 29, 6:15 pm, ET.

With forecasts pointing to a reading of 47, below the 50 mark, the Japanese manufacturing sector is expected to register another month of contraction. 

8.    USD- U.S. Jobless Claims, an important gauge of employment trends and labor market conditions, Thurs., Dec. 30, 8:30 am, ET.

After six weeks of improvement and a four-week average of 426K, the applications for unemployment benefits are forecast to continue to show glimpses of hope from the U.S. job market with another decline to 416K from 420K in the week before. 

9.    USD- U.S. Chicago PMI- Purchasing Managers’ Index, a leading indicator of economic conditions measuring the activity of purchasing managers in the Chicago area, Thurs., Dec. 30, 9:45 am, ET.

The National Association of Purchasing Managers’ index for the Chicago region could see a slight pullback with a reading of 61.2, compared with 62.5 in the previous month.  

10.     USD- U.S. Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator of existing home sales, tracking pending sales in which a contract was signed, but not yet closed, Thurs., Dec. 30, 10:00 am, ET.   

Traders could be reminded of the weakness in the U.S. housing market with the pending home sales index forecast to increase by only 2.1% in November from 10.4% in October.   

Happy Holidays from our team at!