The stock and bond markets in the United States and internationally had to trade through a very unusual first Friday or the month because there was no Labor Department report on Unemployment and on the Payrolls for September. We are now four days into a federal government shutdown and the current rhetoric still has the Republicans blaming the Democrats and the Democrats blaming the Republicans.
24/7 Wall St. wanted to see which key government reports are due in the coming week to see which ones might not be reported as well. If a resolution is made then we may see the late-week reports. It is possible that the economic reports would be delayed even if a resolution occurs as the agencies might need more time to compile data. We have included the four most important earnings reports which are formally on the books because that may be the closest inkling we get to see how the economy is really running.
These are the five biggest economic reports which might not be released in the coming week, with the caveat that some of the reports may have already been compiled for the most part:
- On Tuesday at 8:30 AM we are supposed to get the report on International Trade. This is the national report on exports, imports and the trade balance (deficit).
- On Wednesday at 10:00 we are supposed to see the Wholesale Trade report, a measurement of sales made and inventories held in dollars by merchant wholesalers.
- On Thursday at 8:30 is the Weekly Jobless Claims report from the Labor Department. This report did come out this last Thursday but that was only the third day of closed agencies. That report could be missing in the coming week as well, and we will just have to wait for the Labor Department to make the status known.
- On Friday there are two key reports for September data both due at 8:30 AM that would be closely watched on any normal trading day. The first is the Producer Price Index from the Labor Department. This measures wholesale inflation and is watched closely. Then there is also the formal report on Retail Sales, and while much of this is already known from large retail chains it does merit attention every month.
On another note, we are supposed to get the latest FOMC Minutes at 2:00 PM on Wednesday. This is a Federal Reserve report so we do expect that this will be reported. The Federal reserve balance sheet report is due at 4:30 PM on Thursday and we do expect to see that report.
We want to remind readers that the status of any and all of these reports will be based upon whether or not a government shutdown resolution has been made. Here are some key earnings reports due next week as well.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is due Tuesday and estimates are $0.06 EPS. Alcoa was just booted out of the DJIA so we are not sure that it will garner the same attention as it used to. For years, Alcoa was always the first DJIA stock to report earnings each quarter and investors liked using it as a benchmark for earnings season each quarter.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) is due on Tuesday as well and estimates are $0.93 EPS. Sales in America are one thing, but investors are going to still likely have all eyes on what is happening in its turnaround in China.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) is due on Wednesday and the estimate is $1.46 EPS. Costco has pulled back almost 5% from its peak and that has been a gift or bargain in the bull market. The problem is that sales growth may be peaking or at least facing some headwinds and investors know that Costco is not a cheap stock.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is due Friday morning and the estimate is $0.97 EPS. This is the first of the major banks to report earnings, and as goes Wells Fargo we would expect the trend to be set for the rest of the banks. Its layoffs were announced before quarter end in the mortgage unit.
Without a government resolution and with the debt ceiling coming down the pipe, we would warn investors to brace for companies to completely refrain from offering any quarterly guidance until the can better assess the situation.