Donald Trump is out of the country for the next week, giving the markets some breathing room to react to events outside of the White House.
The Federal Reserve could assume that role, instead. Prepare for a week of Fedspeak as members prime markets for a potential interest rate hike in June. Markets already have high expectations for a move at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the second of three expected rate increases this year.
Wall Street has priced in a nearly 74% chance of a 25-basis-point increase to the federal funds rate when the FOMC meets June 13-14, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
"They were very clear in the prior meeting that we're going three times this year, meaning two more times," said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America. "They want to make sure that they're not surprising the markets. So I'd be really surprised if you heard any of the Fed speeches saying anything but that."
In Fedspeak in the coming week, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will make remarks and participate in a media Q&A at the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Conference in Minneapolis on Monday, and speak at a Town Hall Forum in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Fed Gov. Lael Brainard will give the keynote speech at the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute Conference in Minneapolis on Monday.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will speak at the Jefferson College of Health Professions and Jefferson College of Pharmacy Commencement Ceremony in Philadelphia. Harker will also give remarks and participate in a Q&A in New York on Tuesday.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will deliver remarks in Shanghai on Monday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will participate in a Q&A in Toronto on Wednesday, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will discuss monetary policy in Tokyo on Thursday.
The Fed also will release the minutes from its May meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The central bank opted to leave rates unchanged at that meeting, though signaled a willingness to move on rates sooner than later. Members of the FOMC noted that economic growth had slowed, though fundamentals remained solid. The committee viewed slowing growth in the first quarter as transitory.
Even with Trump on his nine-day trip, questions will still swirl around the White House regarding ongoing investigations into connections with Russia. Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before Congress on Wednesday. Trump fired Comey, who was head of an investigation into Trump and his campaign's alleged ties with Russia.
Even if that testimony brings forth new information on possible collusion, U.S. Bank Wealth Management's Lisa Kopp advises to keep an eye on the big picture.
"We are really just advising our clients to stay pat, not to panic, focus on the long-term objectives," Kopp, head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank, told TheStreet.
"A lot of it will depend on the seriousness of the allegations in the investigation that is forthcoming," Kopp continued. "But even worse case if there's some sort of changeover in the White House, we've weathered these kinds of things before ... If you look at the underlying economy, it really is chugging along very well, and we don't see any sort of necessarily big clouds on the horizon."
Wall Street begins the week with 94% of S&P 500 companies already having reported earnings. So far this season, 75.2% of S&P 500 companies have exceeded earnings estimates, while 62.8% have beat revenue expectations.
In retail and consumer earnings, Autozone (AZO) , Container Store (TCS) , Cracker Barrel (CBRL) , Kirkland's (KIRK) , Tilly's (TLYS) and DSW (DSW) will report on Tuesday; Advance Auto Parts (AAP) , Chico's (CHS) , Lowe's (LOW) , PVH (PVH) , Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and Guess? (GES) on Wednesday; and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) , Burlington Stores (BURL) , Best Buy (BBY) , Costco (COST) , GameStop (GME) , Shoe Carnival (SCVL) , Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and Signet Jewelers (SIG) on Thursday.
Also on the earnings calendar this week, Agilent Technologies (A) and Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) will report on Monday; Heico (HEI) and Toll Brothers (TOL) on Tuesday; HP (HPQ) on Wednesday; and Brocade Communications (BRCD) , LionsGate (LGF) , Marvell Tech (MRVL) , Medtronic (MDT) and Splunk (SPLK) on Thursday.