The craziness of politics will share the spotlight with monetary policy in the coming week as investors look toward the Federal Reserve's crucial December meeting.
The Fed's plans will gain even more scrutiny as Fed Chair Janet Yellen presents her economic outlook on Capitol Hill. Yellen will address the Congressional Joint Economic Committee at 10 a.m. on Thursday. The Fed Chair last testified before that committee in December of last year, prior to the Fed's decision to hike interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
A December rate hike already had a high probability among Wall Street pundits, though Donald Trump's recent election win threw some doubt into the mix. The chances of a December rate hike currently sit at 76%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
"The election result is likely to factor into the Fed policy meeting at the end of the year only if markets are weak -- so far not the case," UBS analysts wrote in a note. "The policy proposals of the president-elect do not provide a clear impact on growth and inflation over the short term."
Federal politics will remain in the spotlight in the coming week as President-Elect Trump's policy plans come into focus. Trump's Cabinet positions should also be unveiled, which could provide much-needed detail on his agenda once taking office.
A busy economic calendar should also shed light on the Fed's December decision as well as its subsequent rate of policy normalization. Inflation trends, in particular, will be on watch with producer prices for October on Wednesday and consumer prices on Thursday. Analysts predict a rise in energy prices to have supported headline numbers for consumer and producer prices in the past month, while growth in shelter and medical care likely boosted core prices.
Also on the economic calendar in the coming week are retail sales for October, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for November, import and export prices for October, and business inventories for September, all on Tuesday; industrial production for October, and the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index for November to be released Wednesday; and housing starts for October and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook for November to be released on Thursday.
The third-quarter earnings season draws to a close in the coming week, with more than 90% of S&P 500 companies already having reported. Of those that have reported, 71% have exceeded earnings estimates, while 54% have passed revenue forecasts. Third-quarter earnings are expected to grow by 4%, according to Thomson Reuters, snapping the longest earnings recession since 2009.
In the coming week, Vodafone (VOD) , JD.com (JD) , Home Depot (HD) and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) will report on Tuesday; Cisco (CSCO) , L Brands (LB) , NetApp (NTAP) , Lowe's (LOW) and Target (TGT) on Wednesday; Walmart (WMT) , Staples (SPLS) , J.M. Smucker (SJM) , Best Buy (BBY) , Salesforce.com (CRM) , Gap (GPS) and Applied Materials (AMAT) on Thursday; and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Foot Locker (FL) on Friday.