Yellen Speaks, Trump Picks, U.S. GDP: Weeks Ahead Dec. 17-31

  • Abe vists Pearl Harbor; Putin holds press event; winter begins
  • Nike, FedEx, Rite Aid, Micron Technology announce earnings

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to speak on the state of the job market and Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver his annual news conference in Moscow.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump continues to fill in the blanks for his cabinet and administration’s key agency offices ahead of the January inauguration. Click here for a table of his picks so far.

Personal spending probably picked up in November as Americans began their holiday shopping and incomes continued to improve, indicating households remain a mainstay of U.S. economic growth.

Other U.S. data this week include reports on November orders for big-ticket goods like planes and appliances, and sales of new and previously-owned homes.

Nike Inc., FedEx Corp., J. Front Retailing Co. Ltd., Rite Aid Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. are among companies scheduled to announce earnings this week.

The four top-ranked college football teams play on New Year’s Eve in the NCAA playoff semifinals. Oddsmakers expect Alabama’s Crimson Tide to win this year’s championship. Washington, Clemson and Ohio State have other ideas.

Most stock markets will be closed on Dec. 26 in observance of Christmas Day.

Saturday, Dec. 17

-U.S. President Barack Obama and his family are in Hawaii for their annual Christmas-New Year’s vacation. He’s expected to return to Washington after the Jan. 1 New Year’s Day holiday.

-President-elect Donald Trump holds a rally in a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, the site he used in August 2015 during the early stages of his campaign. 15:00 local time (16:00 EST). Trump and family are expected to spend the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Departure to be determined.

Sunday, Dec. 18

-Ukraine holds regional elections in towns near the front line of its war with Russian-backed separatists. Allies of former President Viktor Yanukovych are expected to win. Polls open at 08:00 (01:00 EST) and close at 20:00 (13:00 EST). Official results due later in the week.

-Ivory Coast holds parliamentary elections under heavy security with the former ruling party, Front Populaire Ivoirien, ending a boycott after its loss of power in 2010. Polls open at 08:00 (03:00 EST) and close at 18:00 (13:00 EST). Official results as early as Monday.

Monday, Dec. 19

-U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers keynote address at the University of Baltimore’s Midyear Commencement on the state of the job market. In Baltimore at 13:30 EST. Click here for the webcast.

-The U.S. Electoral College meets to formally select the next president and vice president, Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Electors meet in each state to cast their ballots.

-The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to release its final decision in a patent-infringement case lighting-product maker Cree Inc. filed against California’s Feit Electric Co. Inc. and Taiwan’s Unity Opto Technology Co. Ltd. Cree seeks to block imports of certain LED lights, claiming they infringe its patents and falsely claim products are Energy Star compliant. A decision in 337-947 is scheduled to be released at 17:00 EST in Washington.

-U.S. government bond auctions, Fed debt purchases. Click here for the schedule.

-Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison releases the government’s mid-year budget update as the nation’s AAA rating with S&P appears to hang by a thread in the face of a slowing economy and widening deficit.

-Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman meets with European Union foreign-affairs chief Federica Mogherini. 11:30 in Brussels (05:30 EST).

-U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Parliament on last week’s EU summit. 15:30 in London (10:30 EST).

-Romania’s new parliament will take office. President Klaus Iohannis is expected to hold a new round of talks with parties to designate a prime minister after the Social Democrats swept Dec. 11 elections.

-The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the nation’s biggest business lobby, will hold a summit celebrating its 25th anniversary. Central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Economy Minister Maxim Orreshkin and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov are scheduled to speak.

-Bulgaria’s former ruling coalition Reformers’ Bloc will announce whether it has support from its ally, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s Gerb party, for a government. The decision may dictate whether the European Union nation holds early elections.

-Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy presides at a two-day meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Spain holds the rotating presidency of the Council. Timings in New York to be determined.

-Banco Comercial Portugues SA holds a shareholder meeting to decide on increasing limits to voting rights. 11:00 in Lisbon (05:00 EST).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Bank of Japan announces third-quarter flow of funds data.

-EARNINGS: U.S. homebuilder Lennar Corp. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: U.S. Markit services PMI (Dec. prelim.), Japan trade data (Nov.), China property prices (Nov.), Hong Kong unemployment rate (Nov.), German IFO business climate, expectations (Dec.), Portugal industrial production price index (Nov.), Russia retail sales (Nov.), Russia unemployment (Nov.), Georgia GDP (3Q), Ukraine GDP (3Q Final).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: USDA data for grain-export inspections (weekly), Manitoba crop update (weekly), EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit publishes bulletin on crop weather, yield forecasts, pasture conditions (monthly).

Tuesday, Dec. 20

-U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is questioned by the House of Commons Liaison Committee, made up of senior lawmakers, about her plans for exiting the European Union. 14:00 in London (09:00 EST).

-World Bank board to consider second $1 billion loan tranche to Egypt, no time set.

-CENTRAL BANKS: The Bank of Japan is forecast to keep policy unchanged at its final scheduled meeting for 2016. Reserve Bank of Australia releases minutes of its December rate-decision meeting. Turkey’s central bank announces one-week repo, overnight lending and borrowing rates. Hungary’s central bank will decide on interest rates. Moroccan central bank to announce interest rate.

-EARNINGS: U.S. athletic apparel firm Nike Inc. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: Brazil current account (Nov.), Mexico retail sales (Oct.), Hong Kong CPI (Nov.), Taiwan export orders (Nov.), Finland unemployment (Nov.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: American Petroleum Institute crude inventory report (weekly).

Wednesday, Dec. 21

-Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably cooled in November after climbing a month earlier to the highest level since February 2007. The National Association of Realtors will issue the figures at 10:00 in Washington.

-The Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice occurs at 05:44 EST. The South Pole will be tilted toward the sun. As well as being the shortest day and first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

-“Assassin’s Creed,” a new movie from 20th Century Fox based on a video-game series, the critically-panned science fiction thriller “Passengers,” distributed by Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures, and “Sing,” distributed by Universal Pictures and nominated for two Golden Globes including best animated motion picture, debut in wide release in North American theaters. The Christmas holiday weekend is one of the biggest of the year for movie box-office receipts. The all-star cast lending their voices to “Sing” includes Oscar-winners Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Hudson.

-CENTRAL BANKS: Bank of Thailand announces interest-rate decision. Sweden’s central bank rate decision.

-EARNINGS: U.S. memory chip manufacturer Micron Technology Inc. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: U.S. MBA mortgage applications (weekly), Brazil IPCA-15 inflation (Dec.), Malaysia CPI (Nov.), Turkey consumer confidence (Dec.), U.K. public finances (Nov.), euro-area consumer confidence (Dec. prelim.), Ukraine industrial production (Nov.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: U.S. EIA weekly crude oil inventory report (10:30 EST) with real-time coverage on the TOPLive blog. China energy and commodity data, including country-by-country fuel and natural gas figures, as well as base metals and grains (Nov.).

Thursday, Dec. 22

-The U.S. economy probably expanded at a 3.3 percent annualized rate in the final estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product, according to the median estimate of economists as of Dec. 14. The figure had been put at 3.2 percent last month, up from an initial reading of 2.9 percent. The Commerce Department releases data at 08:30 in Washington.

-Orders for U.S. durable goods -- items meant to last at least three years -- probably declined in November on fewer bookings of commercial aircraft. Demand, excluding transportation equipment, is projected to increase, according to forecasts ahead of the Commerce Department’s report. 08:30 in Washington.

-Americans’ spending is forecast to have accelerated in November as incomes increased, providing more momentum for the economy. The Commerce Department will issue the data at 10:00 in Washington.

-Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual news conference in Moscow. Event starts at 12:00 p.m. (04:00 EST).

-Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa speaks in parliament. 15:00 in Lisbon (09:00 EST).

-European Central Bank publishes the economic bulletin 10:00 in Frankfurt (04:00 EST).

-Statistics Canada begins publishing the Bank of Canada’s “three preferred measures of core inflation,” and will remove CPIX (the current core measure) from releases. Historical data of new inflation measures will be calculated back to Jan. 1990. 08:30 EST from Ottawa.

-Japan’s cabinet will approve the fiscal 2017 budget as well as the third extra budget for the current fiscal year. No set time

-CENTRAL BANKS: Philippines central bank announces its interest-rate decision. Czech central bank to decide interest rates.

-EARNINGS: U.S. retail drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: U.S. jobless claims (weekly), U.S. Bloomberg consumer comfort index (weekly, Dec. expectations), Chicago Fed national activity index (Nov.), U.S. gross domestic product (3Q), U.S. FHFA home-price index (Oct.), U.S. leading economic indicators (Nov.), Kansas City Fed manufacturing index (Dec.), Mexico bi-weekly CPI (Dec 15), Argentina GDP (3Q), Taiwan unemployment rate (Nov.), New Zealand GDP (3Q); Italy industrial sales, orders (Oct.), Italy retail sales (Oct.), U.K. GfK consumer confidence (Dec.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: U.S. EIA natural gas inventory report (weekly), USDA net-export sales and shipments (weekly), Saskatchewan crop update (weekly).

Friday, Dec. 23

-U.S. bond market closes at 14:00 EST; stock markets close at their normal time. London Stock Exchange begins closing at 12:30 (07:30 EST).

-EARNINGS: No companies with a market capitalization over $1 billion announce earnings today.

-ECONOMY: U.S. new-home sales (Nov.), U.S. Michigan consumer sentiment (Dec. final), Canada GDP (Oct.), Brazil total outstanding loans (Nov.), Mexico unemployment rate (Nov.), Singapore CPI (Nov.), Taiwan industrial production (Nov.), Norway unemployment (Dec.), Germany GfK consumer confidence (Jan.), France GDP (3Q Final), France consumer spending (Nov.), U.K. GDP (3Q Final), Hungary trade (Oct. Final).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: Baker Hughes U.S. rig count (weekly), Commodity Futures Trading Commission commitment of traders report on futures and options positions (weekly).


Saturday, Dec. 24

-New rules -- known as risk retention -- take effect in the U.S. asset-backed securities market that will make it harder to sell notes. See story here on the resultant glut in sales of commercial-mortgage back bonds.

-ECONOMY: Vietnam CPI (Dec.).

Sunday, Dec. 25

-Christmas Day celebrated.

Monday, Dec. 26

-U.S. and European markets are closed in observance of the Christmas Day holiday.

-CENTRAL BANKS: Bank of Japan releases minutes of the November policy decision meeting. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will give a speech at the Keidanren business lobby.
13:00 Japan time. (12/25, 23:00 EST)

-EARNINGS: Japanese retail clothing chain Shimamura Co. Ltd. is the only company with a market value greater than $1 billion set to report earnings today.

-ECONOMY: France total jobseekers (Nov.).

Tuesday, Dec. 27

-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joins President Barack Obama at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. It will be the first visit by a Japanese head of state to the war memorial since World War II. Obama visited Hiroshima earlier this year, a first for a sitting U.S. president, where he laid a wreath at its peace memorial.

-EARNINGS: Japanese retail and wholesale firm department and grocery store firm J. Front Retailing Co. Ltd. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: U.S. S&P CoreLogic 20-city national home-price indexes (Oct.), U.S. consumer confidence (Dec.), Richmond Fed manufacturing (Dec.), Dallas Fed manufacturing (Dec.), Brazil primary budget balance (Nov.), South Korea consumer confidence (Dec.), Japan unemployment data (Nov.), Japan household spending (Nov.), Japan CPI (Nov.), China industrial profits (Nov.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: American Petroleum Institute crude inventory report (weekly).

Wednesday, Dec. 28

-CENTRAL BANKS: Chile meeting minutes.

-EARNINGS: No companies with a market cap over $1 billion announce earnings today.

-ECONOMY: U.S. MBA mortgage applications (weekly), U.S. pending home sales (Nov.), Bloomberg Nanos Canadian confidence index (weekly), Argentina industrial production (Nov.), Japan industrial output (Nov.), Japan retail sales (Nov.), Italy consumer, business confidence (Dec.), UBS Swiss consumption indicator (Nov.).

Thursday, Dec. 29

-CENTRAL BANKS: Bank of Canada publishes Canadian economic data (monthly), Bank of Mexico meeting minutes, Bank of Japan releases summary of opinions from December meeting.

-EARNINGS: Japanese retail clothing store chain Adastria Co. Ltd. is among companies reporting earnings. For a list of today’s releases, click here.

-ECONOMY: U.S. jobless claims (weekly), U.S. advance merchandise trade deficit (Nov.), wholesale and retail inventories (Nov.), U.S. Bloomberg consumer comfort (weekly), Brazil IGP-M inflation (Dec.), South Korea industrial output (Nov.), Hong Kong trade data (Nov.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: U.S. EIA weekly crude oil inventory report (10:30 EST) with real-time coverage on the TOPLive blog at 11:00 EST; U.S. EIA natural gas inventory report (weekly).

Friday, Dec. 30

-The U.K.’s National Archives releases previously classified cabinet files from 1989 and 1990. 00:01 in London (19:01 Thursday EST).

-The U.K. publishes its New Year’s honors list, rewarding those who’ve made a contribution to national life with titles and medals. 22:30 in London (17:30 EST).

-U.S. bond market closes at 14:00; the stock markets close at their normal time.

-CENTRAL BANKS: Colombia meeting minutes.

-EARNINGS: No companies with a market cap over $1 billion announce earnings today.

-ECONOMY: U.S. Chicago PMI (Dec.), Chile unemployment rate (Nov.), Portugal retail sales (Nov.), Portugal industrial production index (Nov.).

-ENERGY/COMMODITIES: Baker Hughes U.S. rig count (weekly), Commodity Futures Trading Commission commitment of traders report on futures and options positions (weekly).

Saturday, Dec. 31

-German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a nationally televised New Year’s address. Speech is likely to offer pointers on Merkel’s policy agenda for the election year of 2017. Timing to be determined.

-French President Francois Hollande makes a televised New Year’s address. 20:00 in Paris (14:00 EST).

-The U.S. college football playoff semifinals begin. The Peach Bowl in Atlanta hosts the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide playing the Huskies of University of Washington at 15:00 EST. In Glendale, Arizona, the Fiesta Bowl pits Clemson University’s Fighting Tigers against the Ohio State University Buckeyes at 19:00 EST. Winners advance to the National Championship game on Jan. 9 in Tampa, Florida.

Happy New Year from the Week Ahead editors


(Updates with the addition of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Dec. 19)