For the week of October 26
The ECONOMIC DATA that matters most to investors
Tuesday October 27
CaseShiller Home Price Index 9:00am - Recently, it has been all about the rate of decline in home values. A measure of home values in 20 large US cities continues to return from the January abyss. The market will be demanding further improvement.
CaseShiller Home Price Index
Consumer Confidence 10:00am - What is on the mind of consumers? I truly believe it is incorrect to simply say 70% of GDP is consumer spending. Yes, this is an accurate number, but it is a similar idea to the one that says roughly the top 5% of wage earners foot the bill for over 50% of the country's income tax bill. Understand that earners with over $200,000 in income have continued to spend and have started to feel much more optimistic about the economy's direction.
Wednesday October 28
Durable Goods Orders 8:30am - A great measure of how willing corporations are to invest in new equipment. A Reuter's survey is expecting a 1% rise for the month of September. Given recent third quarter earnings from industrial names such as General Electric, 3M, Caterpillar, and Bucyrus, I would expect continued improvement in Durable Goods Orders.
New Home Sales 10:00am - For the month of July, new home sales rose at an annual pace to 426,000. August followed with a modest increase to 429,000. For the month of September, bullish optimism for housing should only continue with a figure north of 450,000.
New Home Sales
Oil Inventory Report 10:30am - Once again, and important to the overall economy, recent data suggests that supplies of "consumer fuels" - distillates and reformulated gasoline - are on the decline. Those inventory draw downs have jump-started energy prices during the month of October. Rising energy prices are bullish for the S&P 500 Index, considering the heavy energy weighting of the Index.
Thursday October 29
GDP 8:30am - The highlight of the week! Growth again, finally! After four contracting quarters in which the economy shrank 3.8% (it's been about 70 years since the economy experienced a similar contraction period). Analysts are expecting that the economy grew over 3% for the 3rd quarter. My take is that the corporate balance sheet strength, auto incentives, home buyer credits and capital market improvement drove growth beyond 3% with a potential surprise in the cards north of 3.5%.