Last week was huge data-wise. We got PMIs from around the world. Car sales. Jobs numbers. Everything.This week could be huge headline-wise. While there isn’t much data, tons of Fed heads will be speaking, and the market will be parsing their every last word looking for hints of more easing.
From Deutsche Bank:
…a plethora of Fedspeak should clarify the Fed’s thinking on the economic outlook and perhaps the fate of Operation Twist following a lukewarm March jobs report. Chairman Bernanke speaks on Monday evening at a Fed conference; given the topic of his speech is “Fostering Financial Stability”, he may add remarks on the latest employment news. The docket for the rest of the week is crowded: Tuesday (Fisher, Kocherlakota and Lockhart), Wednesday (Lockhart, George, Rosengren, Bullard and Yellen), Thursday (Dudley, Lockhart, Plosser, Kocherlakota and Raskin) and Friday (Dudley and Bernanke). The minutes of the March FOMC meeting showed that policymakers were concerned that the economy could follow a similar profile in 2012 compared to the prior two years when activity trailed off following a solid start to the year. To be sure, the disappointing March payroll print will exacerbate these concerns.
One thing to bear in mind when thinking about where the Fed stands. Last week we got Fed minutes that seemed hawkish, and got people thinking that QE3 was off the table. But those were from a meeting that was several weeks old. Since that meeting though we’ve had some mediocre data across various sectors of the economy. It’s not certain that the statements of all these Fed governors will mirror what they thought in March.
Also, earnings season officially kicks off this week, when Alcoa reports on Tuesday. Company outlooks will (as always) be watched closely.