The coming week will contain even more
talk than usual, as a host of high-profile speakers make the rounds. Unfortunately, they won't have much fresh material to discuss due to the sparse economic calendar.
"With a light calendar next week, market action is going to be dictated by whatever the Fed governors and central bankers say at their respective meetings," says Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer at Oaktree Asset Management. "But that won't be such a stretch since the market is already used to that."
Perhaps traders could use the break from last week's data deluge, which concluded with Friday's lower-than-expected nonfarm payroll number. According to the Labor Department, growth in the U.S. labor market took a hit last month, as the economy added a relatively paltry 75,000 new jobs, the smallest addition in seven months. It was also roughly 100,000 shy of economists' forecasts and down 40% from the rate of April.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.7%, while wage growth was weak at 0.1%, down from a revised 0.6% the month before.
The anemic expansion initially sparked buying in stock and bond markets, where traders have spent weeks worrying that a runaway economy would cause the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates further. But overall concerns about the economy overtook the rate-hike speculation, as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
ended down Friday.
"There is a lot of mixed sentiment on trading desks," says James Park, managing director at Rodman & Renshaw. "So, it's likely to be another week of 'wait-and-see'."
On Monday, traders will "see" Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is speaking in Washington along with fellow central bankers Jean-Claude Trichet from the ECB and Deputy Bank of Japan Governor Toshiro Muto. The trio will be involved in a panel discussion at the American Bankers Association's International Monetary Conference.
The only data release scheduled for Monday is the ISM services index for May. According to Thomson First Call, economists are expecting a reading of 60.1, down from 63 in April.
There will be more focus on the Fed Tuesday, as Governor Susan Schmidt Bies speaks at a CFO and risk-management conference in California.
Wednesday afternoon should be interesting, as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan goes back to Capitol Hill to testify on oil and the economy before a Senate committee. Atlanta Fed President Jack Guynn will talk about the economy in Duluth, Ga., as well.
Also scheduled for Wednesday will be the release of April consumer credit data. The consensus estimate is for a rise to $3.5 billion from $2.5 billion in March.
April wholesale inventories are scheduled to arrive on Thursday. Economists project inventory levels rose 0.5%, after 0.2% growth the prior month.
To cap the week off, April trade-balance figures will be released on Friday. Economists predict the nation's deficit expanded to $65 billion from $62 billion in March.
And May import and export prices -- favorites of the Fed -- are also on tap for Friday. Alas, no Fed members are scheduled to speak that day.
Summer Slowdown for Earnings
In terms of individual stocks, the earnings schedule may be light, but money managers will be carefully watching to avoid untimely blowups in an overall jittery market.
On Monday, fewer than a dozen companies are releasing results. Among the names slated to report are
Bob Evans Farms
Tuesday will be a bit busier in terms of earnings, with
among the names on the docket.
Investors also will digest further grist on how well
fared during season. The company already preannounced in May that it expected earnings for its full year to be below its guidance, which had stood at $1.65 to $1.85 a share, due to weak results at its mortgage-lending unit. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call have an average estimate for earnings of $1.63 a share for the year ended April 30.
Thursday's earnings releases include
The lone company scheduled to report results Friday is