Monday, May 31, 2010

Calendar of events to watch

· The week of Mon 5/31 will be busy (albeit shortened as the US and UK are closed Mon b/c of holidays) and will provide investors w/the first insights into how the month of May shaped up (the first month impacted by the peak of the sovereign debt crisis) - In the US, the monthly jobs number on Friday will be the highlight along with Auto Sales on Wednesday and Retail Same Store Sales on Thursday (for jobs, consensus forecasts are calling for ~500K additions and for the unemployment rate to drop from 9.9% to 9.8%).  In Europe, we will get the PMI,GDP and the Unemployment rate.  Out of China, both PMI releases for May will hit Monday night.  From Central Banks, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Canada will hold interest rate setting meeting.  Australia is expected to remain on hold while Canada on Tues could become the first G7 central bank to hike rates.  The G20 finance ministers are meeting on Fri and Sat (6/4-5) in order to set the stage for the G20 leaders meeting (6/26-27); it doesn't seem as any single item is on the agenda for this Fri/Sat although exchange rates and financial regulation will certainly be discussed (so far, there hasn’t been any talk of the communiqué mentioning any currencies explicitly but investors will be closely watching for any talk specifically of the euro weakness or the yen strength).  European officials this week sent signals that they aren't too worried about the euro's decline w/some even welcoming the sell-off as it is providing a boost to exports.  The rating agencies (MCO, MHP) will be in focus as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is due to hold hearings June 2 on the industry (W Buffett, among others, will be testifying).  We should hear more about whether the BP "top kill" strategy is working this weekend (news could hit Sat or Sun).  In Europe, there could be news out of Spain re the merger of some of its local regional banks while labor unions in Portugal are due to strike this weekend.

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