Economic data has been front and center more than ever recently as the markets look to glean any information that may affect the moves of the Federal Reserve and tapering of the main bank's stimulus package. Last month's jobs report for May was perhaps one of the most anticipated in recent times, but this month's could be even more important as investors are looking for more definitive answers as to when – and if – tapering of QE3 will begin. The employment situation report for June arrives on Friday. The latest report on initial jobless claims that is being pushed to Wednesday from its customary announcement on Thursday due to the July 4 holiday.
Other market moving data coming during the trading week of July 1 through July 5 will be somewhat scant, but includes:
ISM Manufacturing Index for June – Last month, the Institute for Supply Management reported a sharp drop in orders at manufacturers during May. The ISM Manufacturing Index dropped into contraction territory with a 49.0 reading after a 50.7 in April. Readings below 50 indicated contraction in manufacturing activity, while readings above 50 signal expansion. The May drop was the largest one-month decline in nearly four years and marked the third straight month of less activity. For June, economists are expecting the index to climb to 50.5.
Also on watch for Monday are the Markit's PMI Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending.
Tuesday will not feature any data generally considered "market moving," but given the heightened awareness of data, investors will be watching for Factory Orders and Motor Vehicle Sales for June to try and put a finger on the health of the economy.
International Trade for May – In April, the U.S. trade deficit widened by 8.5 percent to $40.3 billion. Imports of goods and services rose 2.4 percent to $222.7 billion, offsetting, in part, the lowest amount of petroleum imports since November 2010. Exports of goods and service rose 1.2 percent to $187.4, the second highest level of all time for the U.S. Economists have mixed views on the deficit for May with the consensus coming in with a slight widening to about $40.5 billion.
Initial Jobless Claims for the Week Ended June 29 – Last week, the Labor Department said that the number of new jobless claims for the week ended June 22 decreased by 9,000 to 346,000 from the prior week's revised 355,000 (up from an original estimate of 354,000). The four-week moving average, a less volatile gauge of jobless trends, was lower by 2,750 to 345,750 from a revised average the week before of 348,500. Economists generally regard a number of claims below 350,000 as moderate growth in the jobs market. For the latest week, economists expect the number of claims to be essentially flat, ticking down to about 347,500.
Also on tap for Wednesday is ADP's Employment Report for June, which attempts to predict the Labor Department's third and final estimate of monthly employment figures (in three months).
Employment Situation for June – In May, the U.S. added 175,000 jobs, edging past expectations. However, 420,000 people entered the workforce, causing the nation's unemployment rate to tick up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April. In the three months through May 31, the U.S. created an average of 155,000 jobs each month, down significantly from the 237,000 per month that were created in the prior three-month period. For June, economists are expecting the unemployment rate to tick down to 7.5 percent again with 158,000 jobs expected to have been added during the month.
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