Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catalysts to Watch

Taxes – Sen Baucus is working on a Dem version of a tax bill to challenge the existing one from Republican McConnell; Baucus will allow the Obama “Make Work Pay” cuts lapse; he would make the Bush rates permanent for “middle class” earners while reinstating the estate tax.  The Bush rates for upper-income earners will not see any extension.  The Baucus bill could be unveiled as early as today and he is hoping to use some compromise on the Estate Tax issue to get a few Republican votes.  Sen Majority Leader Reid says he is working to have a vote on Bush taxes pre 11/2 although most think the issue will be tossed into the post election lame duck session.  WSJ/Politico

The calendar remains pretty quiet, w/the next two really big events not starting until mid-Oct (Q3 earnings season) and Nov 2 (elections).  The big catalysts for 9/27 will be the first look at the Sept eco results (most of which come Thurs night/Fri morning).  In China, the official PMI will hit Thurs night 9/30 (the consensus is looking for a reading of 52.5) although the HSBC China Manufacturing Index will hit earlier (out Tues night 9/28).  The Chinese non-manufacturing index will come out Sat Oct 2.  In Europe, there will be some more PMIs coming on Fri Oct 1, but keep in mind that the “flash” reading already hit (on Thurs 9/23).  In the US on Fri, we will get the ISM manufacturing index (the consensus is calling for a headline reading of 54.9) and US auto sales (We expect the September US light vehicle SAAR to come in at 11.9MM).  Keep in mind that manufacturing numbers always hit first in each month, but after the recent FOMC decision/statement, investors will be focusing more on inflation (since this seems to be top of mind at the Fed); the US Sept CPI won’t come until 10/15.  This month’s jobs report hits a little late (not until Fri Oct 8).  Away from economics, the corporate newsflow should be relatively light.  There are a few more Sept-end earnings releases (inc. JBL/PAYX on Mon, ATU/WOR on Wed, and ACN/LWSN on Thurs) but the real focus is going to on the upcoming Q3 reporting season (first Sept-end earnings are: YUM 10/5, MAR 10/6, AA 10/7).  HPQ has an important analyst meeting on Tues (by which time the company is expected to have made a decision on replacing Hurd), RIMM has a developers conf all week (at which it is expected to unveil a new tablet), and FDX has an analyst meeting also (9/28-29).  Some other items to watch – Treasury auctions ($36B 2s on Mon, $35B 5s Tues, $29B 7s on Wed), a for-profit education hearing before the Senate HELP committee (Thurs Sept 30), and the House could vote on legislation that would give Congress the ability to retaliate against China for alleged currency manipulations.  Bernanke is going to be testifying before the Senate on Thurs Sept 30 (10amET), although the focus of his commentary will be on fin reg reform (not monetary policy).  In Europe, the first ever pan-European strike is planned for Sept 29.  Unions throughout Europe are pushing hard to get millions out on the streets of several cities.  China’s “Golden Week” holidays run Oct 1-7.

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