The U.S. Week Ahead (Mar 4-8)

By Steven Levine, Senior Market Analyst, Interactive Brokers

While the U.S. landscape is littered with government policy uncertainties, including over trade talks with China and the EU, as well as relationship troubles with North Korea, the Federal Reserve’s patient stance on monetary policy changes has generally helped resuscitate risk appetite.

The S&P 500 was up about 0.25% on the day Friday and more than 11.3% year-to-date, while the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note had made a new 52-week high of 2.741%.

Against this backdrop, investors in the week ahead will be eyeing some salient economic updates, including December’s new home sales and trade figures, as well as the all-critical employment report for February.

Meanwhile, on the corporate front, Swiss bank UBS will be hosting its eighth annual Global Consumer and Retail Conference.

The week shifts into gear with—

Monday, March 4

  • Construction Spending (Dec)

Construction Spending data was last released for the November period by the U.S. Census Bureau when it rose 0.8% month-over-month to nearly 1.3m. Since the Census Bureau was one of many agencies closed during the historic, 35-day partial government shutdown, which lasted from December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019, the updates being provided Monday reflect a delay.

Tuesday, March 5

  • Markit Services PMI (Feb)
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (Feb)
  • New Home Sales (Dec)
  • API Crude Oil Stocks

Among the reports due out Tuesday, investors will receive fresh figures from the IHS Markit U.S. Services Business Activity Index after January signaled a further upturn across the sector.

While a sustained rise in new orders and client demand was mainly attributed to the rise in business activity, IHS Markit observed that the uptick in output was the slowest in four months – one of the “softest increases in new business” in over a year – and employment growth eased to the second-weakest since June 2017.

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The author does not hold any positions in the financial instruments referenced in the materials provided.

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