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Economic Calendar for 03/30/2011

March 30, 2011

economic dataToday will provide the week’s first hints about the health of the labor market, with both the Challenger Jobs Cuts and ADP Employment reports. In addition to the day’s regular economic releases, we will get Farm Prices at 3 p.m. ET and hear from three Fed speakers.

MBA Purchase Applications will be reported at 7 a.m. ET. There are several components to the mortgage report, but the one most traders focus on is purchases because they indicate new economic activity as opposed to refinancing.

Last week’s purchasing number came in at 191.7. A reading higher than that number by 5 percent or more would be bullish. A drop by the same percentage or more would be bearish.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report will be released at 7:30 p.m. ET. The report tracks layoffs that have been announced but not yet implemented. As a result, most traders see the report as a leading indicator of employment trends. Last month cuts in employment came in at 50,700.

The ADP Employment Report comes out at 8:15 a.m. ET. The consensus forecast calls for the creation of 203,000 jobs, which would be a slight drop from last month’s 217,000. The range of expected outcomes is from a relatively bearish 165,000 to a bullish 295,000.

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

The forecast for both reports was for a build of 1.8 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a much larger build of 5.69 million barrels instead.

If the EIA data shows a smaller build or a negative number indicating a draw, it could be bullish for crude pricing. If the build is larger than the API’s 5.69 million barrels, 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 terms of amount or direction.

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