Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things To Watch This Week


By Noreen Burke – Over the next shortened holiday week, stock markets will likely remain focused on the dual theme of improving the outlook for a coronavirus vaccine against the rapid spread of the pandemic in the United States. Economic data, including reports on personal spending and consumer confidence, will show whether the resurgence of the virus raises concerns about the economic outlook ahead of Black Friday, the kick-off event for the holiday shopping season. Eurozone PMI data will likely indicate a significant drop in trade activity, as the new foreclosure measures will be fully reflected in the numbers. Meanwhile, Britain and the European Union appear to be on the cusp of a post-Brexit trade deal. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

  1. Vaccine optimism versus viral reality

Stock investors are weighing the risks of the rapidly spreading virus and a potentially robust economic recovery once a vaccine is widely deployed.

The benchmark recently skyrocketed to record highs on evidence of high efficacy rates in two experimental vaccines – Moderna (NASDAQ 🙂 and jointly by Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 and BioNTech. Both vaccines could be ready for authorization and distribution in the United States within weeks.

But the pandemic remains an immediate threat with the United States recording its 12th million COVID-19 cases on Saturday, capping a string of days with record infections. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, ignoring warnings from health officials about the continued spread of the virus.

  1. US economic data

The United States is due to release data on Tuesday. Wednesday will be a busy day on the economic calendar with data expected to point to a slowdown in October, while third quarter numbers are unlikely to be revised.

Other reports include figures on, which will be closely watched after an unexpected increase last week that signaled the labor market recovery may have stalled. There will also be data on and before Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Later Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release its latest meeting with investors on the lookout for any discussion of possible changes to its asset purchase program. Meanwhile, appearances by regional Fed chairmen Thomas Barkin and Charles Evans on Monday and James Bullard on Tuesday will also be central concerns.

  1. Black friday

In a typical year, American shoppers would prepare for “Black Friday,” the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. But not this year. As the growth of coronavirus cases makes familiar scenes of consumers crowded into stores for bargains unlikely, online orders are expected to increase.

Oxford Economics expects holiday sales to increase only 0.6% from a year ago due to a confluence of coronavirus, lagging earnings and a weak labor market . Macy’s (NYSE 🙂 expects a tough time with a possible 20% drop in sales during the fall.

But all is not gloomy: Walmart (NYSE 🙂 is forecasting a promising holiday season, and upcoming results from Nordstrom (NYSE :), Gap (NYSE 🙂 and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ 🙂 will provide more information.

  1. Pessimism Euro zone PMI

Preliminary readings of November euro area trade activity on Monday are expected to be dismal amid the resurgence of the coronavirus and the second round of lockdown measures put in place to contain it.

While the past month showed a slight drop for most indicators, these readings should show a significant drop. This will largely be due to the sector, where all restrictive measures have been introduced so far, but there will probably also be some impact in the sector.

  1. Brexit roller coaster

Britain appears to be on the verge of reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union that would regulate their relationship after the end of the transition period on January 1, 2021, in just six weeks.

Brexit deadlines have come and gone a few times in the past, but negotiators are making a last ditch effort and the consensus is that London and Brussels will come to some sort of deal – perhaps a straightforward deal with details to be decided later.

Recent gains and UK stocks imply that assets have been bolstered by hopes for a vaccine and a Brexit deal, but they could be in a bumpy spot.

–Reuters contributed to this report


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