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The Week Ahead: Econ Data, Bernanke, Auctions and Elections
Posted to: MBS Commentary
Monday, February 25, 2013 7:37 AM

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In stark contrast to the 4 days that followed Presidents' Day, the week ahead promises to be significantly more active in terms of data and events.  Last week's FOMC Minutes had a shot to stimulate some more sincere market movement, but failed to do so, having offered no significant adjustment to the prevailing Fed policy outlook.  If we're to see any such adjustment ahead of the next policy announcement, it would be most likely gleaned from this week's semi-annual testimony of the Fed Chair before Congress.  Bernkanke will read prepared remarks at 10am on Tuesday and Wednesday and then field questions from the Senate and House respectively.

Before that, Monday boasts some potential market-moving power of its own.  Two days of voting in Italy will wrap up on Monday morning at 9am New York time.  Results should start trickling in throughout the morning.  Here's the gist of all this Italian election business: a clear victory for the frontrunner Bersani would be as close to an extension of the Mario Monti government as Italy can get.  That would be pro-austerity, pro-stability, anti-flight-to-safety, and is likely mostly baked in to the current rates picture.  Failure to form a government, or an upset victory by any other candidate could result in spillover flight-to-safety buying where core EU debt would rally and bring Treasuries along for the ride to some extent.  Disclaimer: this is a pretty logical assessment but logical ifs/thens don't always pan out when applied to things like politics and the EU.  Chalk it up as a "best guess," but more than anything, just something to be aware of on what looks like an otherwise empty calendar on Monday.

Treasury auctions continue in the first three days of the week, starting a day early due to February being a shorter month.  This also means that Friday, March 1st will NOT be an NFP day, as is typically the case for Friday's that land in the first few days of March.  There's plenty of economic data to digest however, with housing-related reports dominating Tuesday and Wednesday's schedule, joined by Consumer Confidence and Durable Goods.  Thursday brings the standard-issue Jobless Claims along with the first Q4 GDP revision (calling for -0.1 to turn into +0.5).  Purchasing Manager's Indexes are out in force on the last two days of the week with Chicago, Markit, and ISM Manufacuring PMIs (Chicago includes "services" as well as manufacturing).  All in all, a busy week, and one that should help flesh out the following week's pre-NFP biases.

MBS Live Econ Calendar:

Week Of Mon, Feb 25 2013 - Fri, Mar 1 2013

Time

Event

Period

Unit

Forecast

Prior

Mon, Feb 25

09:00

Italian Election: Polls Close

--

--

--

--

13:00

2-Yr Note Auction

--

bl

35.0

--

Tue, Feb 26

09:00

CaseShiller Home Prices

Dec

%

0.5

0.6

09:00

FHFA Home Price

Dec

%

--

0.6

10:00

New home sales-units mm

Jan

ml

0.385

0.369

10:00

Consumer confidence

Feb

--

61.0

58.6

10:00

Bernanke Testimony (Senate)

--

--

--

--

13:00

5yr Treasury Auction

--

bl

35.0

--

Wed, Feb 27

07:00

Mortgage market index

w/e

--

--

782.4

07:00

Mortgage refinance index

w/e

--

--

4244.6

08:30

Durable Goods

Jan

%

-3.9

4.3

10:00

Pending homes index

Jan

--

--

101.7

10:00

Bernanke Testimony (House)

--

--

--

--

13:00

7-Yr Note Auction

--

bl

29.0

--

Thu, Feb 28

08:30

Initial Jobless Claims

w/e

k

360

362

08:30

GDP (Preliminary)

Q4

%

0.5

-0.1

09:45

Chicago PMI

Feb

--

54.5

55.6

Fri, Mar 1

08:30

Personal Consumption

Jan

%

0.2

0.2

08:30

Personal income mm

Jan

%

-2.1

2.6

08:58

Markit Manufacturing PMI

Feb

--

--

55.2

09:55

Consumer Sentiment

Feb

--

76.3

76.3

10:00

Construction spending

Jan

%

0.4

0.9

10:00

ISM Manufacturing PMI

Feb

--

52.6

53.1

* mm: monthly | yy: annual | qq: quarterly | "w/e" in "period" column indicates a weekly report

* Q1: First Quarter | Adv: Advance Release | Pre: Preliminary Release | Fin: Final Release

* (n)SA: (non) Seasonally Adjusted

* PMI: "Purchasing Managers Index"




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