Some Key Financial Data Releases Will Impact Stocks This Week — What To Look For

Some Key Financial Data Releases Will Impact Stocks This Week — What To Look For
     After a sharp melt-up in stocks last week, the near-term is likely treacherous for short-term traders. I sold Thursday afternoon last week ahead of what I thought would be a Friday selloff in stocks — after the melt-up on Mon/Tue. With more bad news likely on the coronavirus at tomorrow’s open, I would not be surprised to see more selling and a re-test of the lows at some point. If we don’t get a selloff in the midst of more bad news on the coronavirus, then maybe the bottom really is in. Outside of the bad news on coronavirus infections/deaths, we are in a week ahead of 1st quarter 2020 earnings, which should start to be announced the second week in April. In the meantime, there are some key data releases this week which should help determine the market’s direction this week.
     The Financial Times (FT) notes that on Monday, traders and investors will get a ‘snapshot’ of how the coronavirus has impacted Japan, when unemployment and industrial production numbers are to be released.  Retail sales figures — such as they will be — will also be released from some of the island’s biggest retailers. Traders and investors on Wall Street will be watching closely.
     As the FT notes on its webpage, China is set to release their March Purchasing Managers Index numbers on Tuesday; and, their regional manufacturing surveys on Wednesday. Everyone is already anticipating really bad numbers. But, as the FT notes, “The PMIs will be closely watched, as they will be one of the first economic indicators to reveal how badly the coronavirus hit the world’s second largest economy in February.”
     Also on Tuesday, the FT notes that Hong Kong will report its February sales, which are expected to fall by 40 percent from the same time last year. A much worse number is not likely to be well received on Wall Street.
    “Trade data from South Korea on Wednesday, and Canada on Thursday, will add to the picture of global commerce,” the FT added.
     Then on Thursday we’ll get U.S. weekly jobless claims at 0830 EDT. And, the biggest market moving number of the week comes Friday morning at 0830 EDT, when the March Non-Farm payroll number is released. The March Non-Farm payroll number will be the first time investors and traders will get a look at how bad the economic shutdown has been thus far on jobs. The FT is reporting that “Miguel Faria-e-Castro at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has released a “back of the envelope” estimate for the second quarter, predicting the U.S. unemployment rate could hit 32 percent, with more than 50 million Americans out of work.” Ouch and ugly. Let’s hope he is wrong. Regardless, this number and its release Friday at 0830 EDT will be one of the most watched, and likely consequential Non-Farm Payroll numbers in U.S. history.
     It is always the darkest before the dawn. Stay safe and pull together. Reach out to the elderly and those who are alone. Loneliness can also kill. Hopefully science and bio-pharma will soon break the back of this most insidious and troublesome disease. RCP,


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