The Daily Difference: Market Update December 17, 2013

Many of the usual suspects are on the economic calendar this week:

  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey: Manufacturing in the NY area is still weak, with a reading of .98 vs. a consensus of 4.5.  Most of the concern is related to the new orders component: down 3.54 after a contraction of 5.53 last month.
  • Housing:  All numbers are expected to be flat to slightly down, which is expected due to seasonality and extremely robust numbers earlier in the year: Housing Market Index on 12/17, Housing Starts on 12/18, Existing Home Sales on 12/19.

The biggest news this week will be the outcome of the FOMC meeting. Beginning today, expect light trading volume heading into the noon (MST) press conference and forecasts on Wednesday. Will Bernanke get the “taper ball” rolling for Yellen at Wednesday’s meeting or hold off on any action prior to Yellen taking office? The outcome of this press conference will likely determine the direction of the markets through the end of the year. Stay tuned and happy holidays!!

BlogJames O'Brien