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Economic Calendar for 12/22/2010

December 22, 2010

The economic calendar is heavy today, including GDP, housing, and energy reports.

At 7 a.m. ET the MBA Purchase Applications will be released, with no forecasts. I look only at the purchases component of the report because it indicates new mortgage activity as opposed to refinancing.

Last week this component came in at 200.3. If this week’s reading is higher by 5 percent, it would be bullish. A number that comes in lower by the same factor would be bearish.

GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET is the key report of the day, as the final revision for the third-quarter. Unlike previous releases, expectations have grown for this report.

XHBThe previous revision had the third-quarter coming in at up 2.5 percent. The consensus estimate for this release is for GDP to have risen by 3 percent, close to the top of the range at 3.1 percent.

A number closer to 2.5 percent or below would likely be seen as bearish. A reading higher than
3.1 percent would likely be seen as very bullish.

Existing Homes Sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The consensus forecast calls for sales of 4.71 million units, up from the previous 4.43 million. A number higher than the consensus estimate, especially at or above 5 million units, would be bullish. A number at or below the previous release would be bearish.

The FHFA House Price Index will also come out at 10 a.m. ET, with no available forecast. The last report, which covered September’s numbers, came in at a month-over-month decline of -0.7 percent. The year-over-year change was -3.4 percent. Further negative numbers would be bearish, while positive numbers would be bullish.

The EIA Petroleum Status Report will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Before the EIA data comes out, the American Petroleum Institute issues a competing report based on its own supply data.

The forecast for both reports was for a draw of -2.3 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a larger decline of -5.796 million barrels instead.

If the EIA data confirms this larger draw, it could be bullish for crude pricing. If it shows a smaller draw or a positive number, indicating a build, it could be bearish for oil.

The EIA is a government body, and the API is a private industry group. The two reports do not always agree either in amount or direction.

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