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Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

EconomyJan 27, 2019 05:51AM ET
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© Reuters. - Market participants are bracing for heightened volatility as the coming week will be dominated by several market-moving events.

The Federal Reserve will hold its first policy meeting of the year on Tuesday and Wednesday, with investors hoping for more clues on how patient it will be before raising interest rates again.

There is also the January jobs report on Friday, with the effects of furloughed government workers potentially impacting the unemployment rate.

In earnings, results from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Tuesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Wednesday and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) on Thursday will be high on the agenda.

Meanwhile, markets will be keeping abreast of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China to see if any more news materializes amid recent signs the world's two biggest economies are working to resolve their differences.

Elsewhere, Brexit will also occupy minds as British Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to win support for her tweaked divorce deal in parliament.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. Federal Reserve Rate Decision

The Federal Reserve is not expected to take action on interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (19:00 GMT) on Wednesday, keeping it in a range between 2.25%-2.5%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold what will be a closely-watched press conference 30 minutes after the release of the Fed's statement, as investors look for greater signs of the central bank's likely rate hike trajectory through the rest of the year.

Any hint that the central bank is closer to ending its balance-sheet runoff will also be in focus.

The Fed raised interest rates four times last year and has signaled it will probably lift borrowing costs twice in 2019, though some central bank officials have said they will be patient and cautious in raising rates as risks to the U.S. economy mount.

2. U.S. Jobs Report

The U.S. Labor Department will release the nonfarm payrolls report for January at 8:30AM ET (13:30 GMT) on Friday.

The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 165,000, after adding 312,000 positions in December, while the unemployment rate is seen dipping to 3.8% from 3.9%.

However, most of the focus will likely be on average hourly earnings figures, which are expected to rise 3.2% from a year earlier, the same gain reported in December.

This week's calendar also features data on U.S. personal income and spending, which includes personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation figures, the Fed's preferred metric for inflation.

Other top-tier economic data due this week includes the CB consumer confidence report, ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) private sector payrolls, as well as the ISM surveys on manufacturing and service sector activity.

3. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon Highlight Busy Week of Earnings

Three of the four biggest companies in the world all report in the week ahead, as do about a quarter of the S&P 500 and nearly half the Dow stocks as the fourth-quarter earnings season gathers pace.

Tech bellwethers Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon report respectively on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the sixth largest stock by market cap, also reports on Wednesday.

Some of other high-profile tech names reporting this week are Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), and Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR), all due Monday.

Tuesday sees Verizon (NYSE:VZ), 3M (NYSE:MMM), Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) report.

Boeing (NYSE:BA), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), AT&T (NYSE:T), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Visa (NYSE:V), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), and US Steel (NYSE:X) are on the docket for Wednesday.

Results from General Electric (NYSE:GE), United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), Mastercard (NYSE:MA), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), Blackstone (NYSE:BX), Sprint (NYSE:S), DowDuPont (NYSE:DWDP), Altria (NYSE:MO), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) are due Thursday.

Finally, corporate results from ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Madison Square (NYSE:SQ) Garden (NYSE:MSG), and Cigna (NYSE:CI) round up the week on Friday.

4. U.S.-China Trade Talks

The United States and China will have in-depth discussions on economic and trade issues during Chinese Vice Premier Liu He's U.S. visit on Wednesday and Thursday.

That follows lower-level negotiations held in Beijing earlier this month to resolve the bitter dispute between the world's two largest economies by March 2, when the Trump administration is scheduled to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Washington and Beijing have been engaged in a trade spat for more than a year, with both countries slapping tariffs on several of each other's products. The standoff has raised concern in the market about a potential slowdown in global economic growth.

5. Brexit 'Plan B' Debate

Investors will keep a watchful eye on the British parliament's debate on Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed next Brexit steps, as well as alternative plans put forward by lawmakers, including some that seek to delay Britain's March 29 exit from the European Union.

The opposition and many ruling party members will likely back an amendment providing for a nine-month extension to Brexit should a deal not be agreed by Feb. 26.

Deliberations are set for Tuesday.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

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Comments (4)
duly huncho
duly huncho Jan 30, 2019 7:20AM ET
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will the currency have more value or low value?
Frequency Zulu
Frequency Zulu Jan 27, 2019 11:11AM ET
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The week is packed with events & surely there wil be much volatility
Jonathan Omosso
Jonathan Omosso Jan 27, 2019 10:23AM ET
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let wait and see what market will give us
Dexter Ian Abragan
Dexter Ian Abragan Jan 27, 2019 10:06AM ET
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Gonna be a busy week
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