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Employment and Crude Data in Focus This Week. Here's 5 Things to Watch

Barchart - Sun Dec 3, 2023

Last week gave us a lot of tradeable moves in the overall market. The S&P 500 ($SPX) (SPYended the week up 0.83% on the week, after the preliminary GDP numbers came out strong at 5.2%. In other news last week, several companies started another round of layoffs as company “restructuring” began again.

This week we have some additional earnings coming up, but thankfully those have slowed to almost a crawl. Additionally, there is plenty of economic data due out and some energy news worth keeping an eye on.

Here are 5 things to watch in the market this week.

Earnings

Earnings are still in the trading cycle this upcoming week, thankfully though we seem to have very few market moving names left to report. There look to only be a few really large names this week, and they will be more for insight into the overall economic conditions. First up on Tuesday, we have AutoZone (AZO) reporting. Cars/transportation are a fairly large segment of the economy so watching the outlook that Autozone reports will be a strong insight into how they feel the automotive markets will fare in the coming quarters. 

On Wednesday Gamestop (GME) reports after the market closes. This name, while not a huge company, could have some market-moving potential due to the cult-like following that the name attracts. Finally Dollar General (DG) reports on Thursday before the open. Dollar General is similar to a Walmart in the US, it is a place to purchase goods at discounted prices. If they expect an increase in traffic in the coming months it could be an indicator that the economy is not as strong as the Fed will have us believe. This could be a very powerful indicator for next year.

JOLTS Job Opening

Jobs are a leading indicator of economic health, if the JOLTS report comes out that there are more openings than last month it could be seen as a positive by the market that the tight job market is starting to loosen up. If it comes in as a miss then it could be seen as a negative that employment is still tight and that the Fed has more work to do.

Crude Oil Inventories

Wednesday at 10 am Eastern Crude oil inventories are out, and while this may not directly move the market it could still be an important item to watch. With OPEC+ voting to reduce output again last week, if there is a draw on the inventories number we could see oil start to climb again. Often this means higher gas prices and higher goods prices heading into the Christmas Season. 

Unemployment Claims

Out Thursday morning are Unemployment claims. The last several releases have been revised higher the following month, and if this month sees the same it could be a signal that the economy is in worse shape than anticipated. If we come in with a huge miss, the market could rally on the great economic news similar to the last GDP report. If we come in higher than expected though we could see the market start to slump on a poor economic situation. 

Unemployment Rate

Friday at 8:30 Eastern time there is the Average Hourly Earnings, Non-Farm payroll, and Unemployment Rate. All of these revolve around the employment statistics for the US. If these come in stronger than estimated we could see the market rally. If we get a miss on them, particularly the unemployment rate, we could see the market sell on weak economic data. 

Best of luck this week and don’t forget to check out my daily options article.



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On the date of publication, Gavin McMaster did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.

Provided Content: Content provided by Barchart. The Globe and Mail was not involved, and material was not reviewed prior to publication.