Today's Economic Data Highlights
We start with pending home sales and factory orders, then hear from the Fed, including twice from Chairman Bernanke…
10:00: Pending home sales index for Aug....another increase? We have yet to see where sales of existing homes will stabilize after the payback following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. The 2.8% median expectation follows a 5.2% increase in July, but the preceding two months saw a cumulative drop of 32%.
Median forecast (of 30): +2.8%, ranging from -2% to +5.6%; last +5.2%.
10:00: Factory orders for Aug….a small setback? As it usually the case, we expect this report to mimic – in subdued fashion – the patterns drop already reported for durable goods bookings. For August, this means a small decline (durable goods orders fell 1.3%). Revisions to the durable goods data are always possible, and the inventory data bear some attention, as accumulation has remained significant in recent months.
GS: flat; median forecast (of 59) +0.2%, ranging from -1.2% to +2.5%; last -1.2%.
11:30: NY Fed’s Brian Sack speaks…to the CFA institute conference in Newport Beach, CA. This isn’t likely to break any new policy ground, but in light of President Dudley’s speech Friday it bears more than the usual attention for possible insights into operational issues in managing the Fed’s portfolio of Treasury securities and MBS.
15:00: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks with college students….in Providence, RI. No prepared text, so this is not likely to provide any formal confirmation or qualification of the impressions left by the Dudley speech on Friday. But comments will surely cross the tape.
19:30: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on “Fiscal Sustainability and Fiscal Rules”….He’s already on record saying that this is not the time for fiscal policy to tighten. The likely emphasis in this speech will be the trade-off between fiscal support now and a clear path to sustainability down the road. While the focus is on fiscal policy, the opportunity is there for him to reinforce the message that Fed policy can also provide more support to help the recovery.
From Goldman's Ed McKelvey