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Wednesday: ADP Employment, Trade Deficit, FOMC Minutes


For fun, here are Byron Wien’s Ten Surprises for 2015. Here are a few:

1. The Federal Reserve finally raises short-term interest rates, well before the middle of the year, encouraged by the improving employment data and strong Gross Domestic Product growth. The timing proves faulty, however, as the momentum of the economy has begun to flag and a short-term slowdown has started. The end of monetary accommodation and rising rates precipitate a correction in equities. Long-term Treasury rates stay where they started and the yield curve flattens. [CR Note: I doubt the Fed will raise rates "well before the middle of the year"]

3. The year-end 2014 rally in United States equities continues as the market rises for a strong performance in 2015. A growing economy, fueled by housing and capital spending and favorable earnings, enables the Standard & Poor’s 500 to increase 15% during the year, outperforming equities in most major industrialized countries throughout the world.

4. Mario Draghi finally begins to expand the balance sheet of the European Central Bank aggressively by buying sovereign debt, mortgages and corporate bonds. In spite of this expansion, Europe falls back into a serious recession. Germany is particularly weak as reduced demand from various trading partners has a major impact on its exports. The European policy makers fail to embrace the one option, fiscal spending, that could turn the economy around, and European stocks decline. Politically, Europe moves dangerously toward the right. [CR Note: Unfortunately probably close.]

8. Brent slips into the s. The low price of crude oil, which continues throughout the first part of the year, has a major impact on Russia. A peace settlement with Ukraine is signed, giving Eastern Ukraine substantial autonomy but guaranteeing the sovereignty of the rest of the country. President Putin seems to be trying to win back the respect of the international community as the country reels from its economic problems, but the Russian citizenry finally turns on him. His approval rating plummets and he resigns by year-end. During the second half of the year, West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are both above , as emerging market demand continues to increase. [CR Note: Brent into the s is already close. Brent closed at .10 today.]

• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:15 AM, the ADP Employment Report for December. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 223,000 payroll jobs added in December, up from 207,000 in November.

• At 8:30 AM, the Trade Balance report for November from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at .0 billion in November from .4 billion in October.

• Early, Reis Q4 2014 Mall Survey of rents and vacancy rates.

• At 2:00 PM, the FOMC Minutes for Meeting of December 16-17, 2014
Calculated Risk

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