Financial Professionals


For the week of August 31st


For the week of August 31st, here are the events that matter on the economic calendar:

Tuesday 9/1 - ISM Manufacturing PMI
Psychologically, a biggie! Analysts are looking for a rise to 50.5; last month the number was 48.9. What is critical here is that 50 is the line in the sand. A number below 50 signals contraction, a number above 50 signals actual expansion. This number has not come in above 50 since January 2008 @ 50.8.

Tuesday 9/1 - Pending Home Sales
August numbers were up 3.6% month on month and up 9.2% year on year. Analysts are expecting softer numbers this month so the surprise is to the upside.

Wednesday 9/2 - Oil Inventory Report
Is a large build in Oil stocks showing up to reverse the extremely bullish report from Wednesday August 19th? The Oil market has held its gains from that day's bullish report. This further solidifies my belief that Oil is going higher through the end of 2009.

Wednesday 9/2 - FOMC Meeting minutes
2pm release will provide insight into the thinking of the collective body of the FOMC. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker talked this week about the end of quantitative easing; September 23rd begins the next meeting.

Friday 9/4 - Unemployment
Analysts are looking for the unemployment rate to rise from 9.4% to 9.5%. Last month, we lost 247,000 actual jobs; this month analysts are looking for a loss of 230,000. Goldman Sachs is calling for 220,000. I note that because they have been so hot calling the actual loss figure.

On the earnings front:
Some of the bigger companies that report are Joy Global and Smith & Wesson. With Smith & Wesson, we find out how the depression fear "gun trade" worked out.

Reading 10 Quick Takeways

As a kid, I never liked to read - forget those summer reading assignments. I preferred to re-enact the batting stance of the '78 Yankees as my friends and I played out the '78 Yankees / Red Sox pennant race at our wiffle ball field in Valley Stream, NY. Now, father time and my desire to keep making money are forcing me to read as many as 500 pages of market and economic material per week. Curiously enough, it is getting harder to see the words as I age; reading glasses are coming, I guess. Anyway, I will trade you some market thoughts for a spare magnifying glass until my vanity allows me to accept my first pair of reading glasses.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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