8:30: Jobless claims (Week of March 19): Clean reading. Recent special factors affecting the weekly jobless claims reports – holidays, weather – should have faded from the data this week. We believe initial claims remain on a choppy downward trend.
Median forecast (of 48): 383,000; Last: 385,000.
8:30: Durable goods orders (February): Core bounces back. We forecast that durable goods orders increased by 2.0% mom in February, a slightly slower pace of increase than the 2.7% gain in January. However, much more important than the headline figure will be the underlying components related to firms’ capital goods demand. Last month, core capital goods orders (nondefense capital goods excluding civilian aircraft) declined by 6.2% mom – the largest drop since January 2009 (headline durable goods orders managed an increased because of a $7bn gain in aircraft bookings). We suspect that the weakness in core orders partly reflected a “first month of the quarter” bias that we have noticed for this indicator. Other monthly measures of capital goods spending, such as industrial production of business equipment, remain healthy. We therefore look for core durable goods orders to rebound in today’s report.
Median forecast (of 80): +1.2%; Last: 2.7%.
11:00: POMO completed: Fed monetizes $5.5-$7.5 billion of Treasurys maturing 09/30/2013 – 02/28/2015, gives Primary Dealers the spoils.
19:30: Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke on “Changing Circumstances: The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Wealth”. Q&A scheduled.