More rudderless trading could be reprised in the coming week as anticipation builds for two events later in the month: the
second two-day meeting of the year, and the handoff of sovereignty to the new Iraqi governing regime.
"For the most part, we need to mark time," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. "There's very little that will dissuade us that the Fed will raise interest rates 25 basis points ... That's as good as done."
As a result, earnings-related news and economic data, most of which falls in the back half of the week, will have to be pretty stunning to wake anyone up.
"There are no marquee economic events that will move the market one way or another," Hogan said. "The earning reports and mid-quarter updates will probably move the needle on a case-by-case basis."
In addition to FOMC meeting beginning June 29, the market is hoping the handover of government control in Iraq -- which occurs June 30 -- will soothe some of the unrest that has contributed to trepidation in U.S. equity markets.
While stock markets drag, oil futures could remain volatile, said Giri Cherukuri, a trader at Oak Brook Investments. Oil prices hovered around $37-$38 a barrel early last week, after sabotage attacks on two oil pipelines shut down Iraq's oil exports on Wednesday. They rose to about $39 a barrel on Friday, however, though still below the high of around $42 a barrel in prior weeks.
Uncertainty about oil has kept traders away from big stock market commitments, Cherukuri said. The
New York Stock Exchange
had about 1.2 billion to 1.5 billion shares trading most days last week. The exchange's 52-week volume range is 1.01 billion to 1.91 billion shares.
On Friday, the broader indices closed up modestly, leaving the five-day outcome mixed. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
ended up 0.4% at 10,415.35 on Friday, leaving it relatively flat for the week. The
closed Friday up 0.2%, at 1986.73, but down 0.6% for the week. And the
was 0.3% higher at 1134.95 on Friday, but down 0.1% for the week.
Still, normal volume and a chance at momentum could return in July, Cherukuri said. "Soon people will adapt to the higher oil prices and adjust to the fact that
interest rates will be higher."
Meanwhile, traders and investors are likely starting to prepare for the second-quarter earnings onslaught, which could be another catalyst to get the market rolling again. "Once it begins, that will be the big trigger for the
market's next move," said Cherukuri.
Hogan expects that the earnings momentum seen in first-quarter results will start to slide, especially among the big retail players like
"You can't grow new orders by 60% every time," said Hogan.
Look for a trickle of earnings releases next week from
on Wednesday; and
Family Dollar Stores
Del Monte Foods
In the week's economic news, durable orders for May are expected to rise 1.5% on Thursday, compared with the prior month's 2.9% drop. Also Thursday, the help wanted index is forecast to have a reading of 40 in May vs. April's reading of 38. And economists expect that a government report will show 1.137 million new homes were sold in May, compared with 1.093 million in April.
On Friday, the final reading of first-quarter gross domestic product is expected to be revised up to a 4.5% increase, from a prior reading of 4.4%, while the implicit price deflator should remain at 2.6%. The readings would compare with a 4.1% increase in fourth-quarter gross domestic product -- a 1.5% increase in the fourth-quarter's implicit price deflator.
On Friday, the University of Michigan's final reading of consumer sentiment is expected to show a slight decrease from the prior reading. The consensus estimate is for a reading of 95 vs. the preliminary reading of 95.2. That compares favorably, however, to May's final reading of 90.8. And sales of existing homes in May are expected to decrease to 6.5 million from 6.64 million in April.