It could be a big week for the US markets, with an economic calendar that is set to put inflation and bond yields back in the spotlight.
US: Will inflation sink Dow Jones?
Though it ebbed and flowed, rather than soared, the Dow Jones nevertheless spent the first full week of April in the vicinity of its all-time highs. As did its S&P 500 and Nasdaq peers, both of which were chasing peaks of their own.
The tests are going to come thick and fast this week, however. First up is the 10-year Treasury bond auction on Monday.
This time in March there was enough demand to reassure investors and cause yields to dip slightly. And though in the interim 10-year yields have touched 13-month highs, they fell to a fortnightly low in the aftermath of a dovish set of Fed meeting minutes last Wednesday.
Monday will see demand tested once more, as the treasury auctions $38 billion in 10-year notes, and the Dow Jones will be watching the uptake closely.
There’s no let up on Tuesday, with the release of the inflation reading for March. The standard number is set to rise from 0.4% to 0.5%, while the core figure is looking to climb from 0.1% to just 0.2%. If those readings come in as forecast, then the market’s concerns over inflationary pressures should continue to retreat.
Though Wednesday is lower stakes, with import prices set to fall from 1.3% to 1.0%, Thursday more than makes up for it.
The headline item is March’s retail sales data. The standard reading is expected to rebound from -3.0% to 5.1%, with the core figure seeing a similar improvement, from -2.7% to 4.8%. Those numbers are joined by the Philly Fed manufacturing index, industrial production, and the usual Thursday jobless claims.
Friday takes the pressure off slightly Stateside, with the consumer sentiment, building permits and housing starts figures.
What could change the complexion of Friday’s trading, however, is a rather significant set of numbers out of China overnight. The first quarter GDP reading is expected to almost triple from where it was in Q4, rising from 6.5% to 18.3%.
Elsewhere the numbers aren’t expected to be quite as rosy, with fixed asset investment down from 35.0% to 27.0%, industrial production down from 35.1% to 18.0% and, most worryingly for the markets, retail sales down from 33.8% to 28.0%. Obviously, by Western standards, those numbers would still be unbelievable. But investors will be more concerned with which way the arrow is pointing.
If that wasn’t enough, the second half of the week sees the opening shots of the US earnings season.
US: Stocks To Watch
JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs are on Wednesday, followed by PepsiCo, Bank of America, and Citigroup on Thursday, and Morgan Stanley on Friday.
UK: Can FTSE continue to ride vaccine headlines?
Dangers lurk for the FTSE. Vaccine headlines haven’t been all positive of late: Sage has warned the rollout could be about to slow down, WHO has said vaccinations wouldn’t prevent the UK from suffering a third wave, and the Oxford jab has been deemed a risk for under-30s.
So far, the blue-chip index has left the pound to deal with these worries. Can it continue to do so this week?
Elsewhere, only UK data of any worth arrives on Tuesday, with the monthly GDP, construction output and industrial and manufacturing production readings. The commodity-heavy FTSE will also have a vested interest in Friday’s Chinese data dump.
UK: Stocks To Watch
If not quite as packed as the US earnings calendar, the UK’s corporate offerings see JD Sports on Tuesday, Tesco on Wednesday, and the debutante Deliveroo joined by Hays and Naked Wine on Thursday.
It’s a busy week for data over in the Eurozone. Region-wide retail sales arrive on Monday, followed by the ZEW economic sentiment readings on Tuesday, industrial production on Wednesday, German and French inflation on Thursday, and the Eurozone-wide CPI figure on Friday.
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