The Daily Difference: Retail and jobless reports coming soon!

Although there are no major reports in the next few days, James Bullard, Richard Fisher and Jeffrey Lacker spoke yesterday afternoon. Bullard, the only one of the three that currently sits on the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), emphasized the tapering process has the ability to be dynamic (they can increase or decrease asset purchases as more economic information becomes available), although he supports tapering earlier rather than later. At a luncheon hosted by the CFA Society of St. Louis, Bullard said, “Based on labor-market data alone, the probability of a reduction in the pace of asset purchases has increased,” increasing speculation tapering could be initiated as soon as this month.  Nevertheless, the market reaction was muted due to Bullard’s history as a hawk. Thursday, you can expect:

  • Retail sales:  This number is typically significant, but even more so during the holiday season.  Most will be looking at this number to determine how the last week of November compares to last year’s “Black Friday” shopping season.  The initial numbers suggested online sales were robust, while brick and mortar sales disappointed.  In addition, many are concerned the majority of the sales this year went to lower margin items.
  • Jobless claims:  Given last week’s robust jobs report, the expectations are high!  Jobless claims have fallen 7 out of the last 8 weeks; many are hoping the trend will continue.
BlogJames O'Brien