Wall Street is looking at a quieter coming week with just a trickle of economic data to analyze before the Federal Reserve meeting on Dec. 13-14.
The Federal Open Market Committee will convene next week in a highly anticipated meeting expected to culminate in action by the central bank. The members of the Fed's decision-making committee are expected to hike rate by 25 basis points after signaling for months that the case for policy normalization had strengthened. Recent economic data showing positive inflation trends and a return to growth in manufacturing have made a year-end hike even more likely.
"Expectations and reality are converging," Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told TheStreet. "Expectations for an improving U.S. economy are relatively high, and recent data such as Thursday's ISM release and Friday's November jobs report are catching up to and supporting these expectations, thus, in our view, warranting Fed action."
The likelihood of a rate hike when the Fed meets currently sits at 95%, according to CME Group fed funds futures. Most are anticipating an increase of 25 basis points with a few economists even suggesting the slim chance of an increase of 50 basis points.
Until the meeting on Dec. 13-14, Wall Street will preoccupy itself with some minor economic releases and the stragglers of the earnings season. International trade for October is the highlight of the economic calendar with the release set for Tuesday. The trade deficit is expected to have widened to $41 billion in October, according to FactSet, from $36.4 billion in September.
Also on the economic calendar: The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for November will be released on Monday; productivity and costs for the third quarter and factory orders for October on Tuesday; the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for October on Wednesday; and consumer sentiment for December on Friday.
Monday is a busy day for Fedspeak. New York Fed President William Dudley will share macroeconomic forecasts at the Association for a Better New York and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will make a speech at The Executives' Club of Chicago CEO Breakfast. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will discuss the U.S. economy at an annual Economic Forecast Luncheon in the afternoon.
On the earnings calendar, GWPharmaceuticals(GWPH) - Get Report will report on Monday; Autozone(AZO) - Get Report , Conn's(CONN) - Get Report , Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) , HD Supply Holdings(HDS) - Get Report , Michaels(MIK) - Get Report and TollBrothers(TOL) - Get Report are scheduled to report on Tuesday; H&R Block(HRB) - Get Report , Costco(COST) - Get Report , Dollarama(DOL) - Get Report , Lululemon(LULU) - Get Report , VeraBradley(VRA) - Get Report and VerintSystems(VRNT) - Get Report on Wednesday; Broadcom(AVGO) - Get Report , Ciena(CIEN) - Get Report , Finisar(FNSR) - Get Report and Fred's (FRED) on Thursday; and Vail Resorts (MTN) - Get Report on Friday.