The only thing that continues to matter is headlines, as alpha continues to be dead and buried under 6 feet of noise. For those who care, however, here is the actual data in today's fact-based docket.
9:00: S&P/Case-Shiller home price index (August): Stable prices. GS model based on asking prices points to a small increase in the seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller 20-city index during May. This would leave prices down 3.3% from a year earlier.
GS +0.2%; Consensus: +0.1%; Last +0.1%.
10:00: Conference Board confidence index (October): Small increase? Goldman forecasts a small increase in the index of consumer confidence, based partly on the rise in stock prices. Measures of consumer confidence in general show household sentiment steady at subdued levels.
GS: 48.0; Consensus: 46.0; Last: 45.4. MAP: 3
10:00: FHFA House Price Index (August): Another gain. This index—which tracks the purchase price of homes with agency-conforming mortgages—has risen in every month since March.
Consensus: +0.2%; Last +0.8%.
10:00: Richmond Fed survey (October): Tie breaker. The Philadelphia Fed index improved sharply this month but the Empire State index was about unchanged and still well below zero. The Richmond Fed index should help determine which is a better characterization of current manufacturing activity. In addition to a manufacturing index, the Richmond Fed survey contains a separate set of questions sent to firms in service-providing industries, which is one of the few direct measures of services activity in the monthly indicator cycle.
Consensus: Flat; Last -6. MAP: 1
11:30: Treasury will auction a $30.0 billion 4-week bill which will raise no new cash.
13:00: Treasury will auction a $35.0 billion 2-year note to raise $8.066 billion.
10:00 am – House Republican press briefing. The entire House leadership will hold a briefing following their weekly caucus meeting. The House is set this week to consider one small part of the President’s jobs package—a repeal of the 3% tax withholding on govt. contractors set to take effect Jan. 1—but hasn’t announced action on any other pieces, despite mildly supportive comments from Republican leaders related to the payroll tax cut extension, small business tax relief, and unemployment insurance extension if coupled with reform.
10:00 am – Treasury testifies on US-China economic relations. The Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the trade with China and other economic aspects of the relationship, with Treasury Undersec Lael Brainard and Dep. USTR Demetrios Marantis testifying. Treasury announced that it would delay its semi-annual report past the Oct. 15 due date, until at least mid-November in order to first assess progress made at several multilateral meetings. Brainard is likely to come under pressure from committee members to take a position on the Senate’s currency legislation, which passed that chamber earlier this month. Additional hearings are likely in the House, as Republican leadership in that chamber tries to continue the focus on the issue through actions other than taking up the Senate-passed currency legislation.
10:00 am – Treasury testifies on Eurozone implications for US. House Financial Services holds a hearing on implications of the Eurozone crisis on the US, with Treasury Asst. Sec. Charles Collyns. The emphasis will be on the financial sector, which is the most important transmission mechanism of Europe’s current problems to the US.
10:00 am – Student loans. Debt related to student loans, which are mostly government backed, has risen quickly over the last few years, and appears to an issue of growing political importance. The head of the Dept. of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid will testify on the issue in the House Education and Workforce Committee.
10:30 am -- Internet gaming. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will look at the issue, with continuing efforts in the background by some influential lawmakers to overturn the ban on internet gambling in the US, replacing it with a state licensing regime, which if it occurred most expect would to lead to taxation and additional government revenue.
11:00 am – Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks on his economic plan in South Carolina. He outlines the proposal in an op-ed this morning in the Wall St. Journal. Perry proposes a flat tax of 20%, with continuation of only three deductions, only for annual income under $500,000: the mortgage interest deduction, the charitable deduction, and the state and local tax deduction (no mention of employer sponsored health benefits, which would presumably no longer be excluded from income, nor any mention of tax exempt interest). Perry also calls for a 20% corporate tax rate, and to allow a temporary profit repatriation tax holiday. He would cap spending at 18% of GDP, calls for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, and optional private accounts in Social Security. There is no mention of US-China economic relations, which have been a focus for former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. Perry currently stands at 12.5% in an average of recent polls for the Republican nomination, third to Cain (26%) and Romney (25.5%).
Source: Goldman and SMRA