Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week Ahead Magazine: March 16, 2014

In just a few short weeks geopolitical events seem to be the top market concern and thus taken steam out of the bull market run. The Ukraine/Russia/Crimea issue seems to have reached a near term conclusion with Crimea appearing to vote today for leaving Ukraine and joining Russia. This geopolitical event seemed to impact market returns this past week with the S&P 500 Index declining 2.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling a larger 2.4%. This situation will certainly influence market returns early in the coming week. Additionally several important economic reports will be reported this week with the mid week Fed announcement.
  • Monday: Empire State Mfg. Survey and Industrial Production
  • Tuesday: Consumer Price Index and housing Starts
  • Wednesday: FOMC Meeting Announcement and Yellen Press Conference
  • Thursday: Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Survey, Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators
  • Friday: Futures and options Quadruple Witching
As much of the economic data has been mixed throughout the market's advance from the financial crisis lows back in 2009, the sentiment data is mixed as well. Gallup reports an uptick in investor optimism and I highlighted the report in this week's magazine. On the other hand, Econoday's report on last week's Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index noted, "Consumer sentiment is dipping this month but not the assessment of current conditions. The composite index is down 1.7 points at mid-month to a lower-than-expected 79.9, but the current conditions component is actually higher, up 7 tenths to 96.1 to indicate comparative strength vs February."

For investors then, news events this week will certainly provide a reason for market volatility early in the week. Below is the link to this week's magazine.

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