Written by Brenda Nakalema

Fed Interest Rate, GameStop and other things to look out for this week

Investors will be keenly watching the monetary policy decision that will be arrived at by the Federal Reserve Committee on …

Investors will be keenly watching the monetary policy decision that will be arrived at by the Federal Reserve Committee on Wednesday. The expectation is that officials will raise the central bank’s benchmark interest rate target range from 0.25% to 0.50%. The last Fed hike was in 2018.

Earnings highlights to be seen this week include Vail Resorts and Coupa Software on Monday, Lennar on Wednesday, and FedEx, GameStop, and Dollar General on Thursday. American Express will host an investor day on Wednesday.

The economic data to look out for this week will include the Bureau of Labour Statistic’s producer price index for February on Tuesday. It’s expected that wholesale prices will climb by 10% year over year. The Census Bureau’s retail sales will be released on Wednesday and the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index on Friday. Wednesday and Friday will also see housing market data released.

Monday 14/3

Quarterly results released by Coupa Software, Gitlab, and Vail Resorts.

Tuesday 15/3

The producer price index for February is released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is expected that the producer price index will climb by 10% year over year, while the core PPI, which does not include often volatile energy and food prices, will rise by 8.7%. This contrasts with the increases of 9.7% and 8.3% respectively in January. The 10% estimate represents the largest increase on record since the 12-month data was first calculated in 2010.

Wednesday 16/3

Retail sales data for February is released by the Census Bureau. Spending on retail sales and food is expected to increase 0.3% month over month, to $652 million. Retail sales climbed 3.8% in January.

First-quarter fiscal- 2022 earnings- released by home builder Lennar.

The Federal Open Market Committee releases its monetary policy decision. It is expected that the FOMC will raise the federal-funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point, 0.25%- 0.5%. This would represent the first Fed increase since 2018, as reported by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. This increase is assumed to represent the beginning of rate hikes as the Federal Reserve battles four-decade high inflation.

Shareholder meetings by Agilent Technologies, Coopers Cos, and Starbucks.

American Express holds its annual company investor day.

The National Association of Home Builders releases the Housing Market Index. Consensus estimates stand at an 80 point reading, two points lower than the February figure. Although the index is below its 2020 peak, builders maintain their bullish sentiment on the housing market; despite the volatility brought on by rising mortgage rates and supply shortages.

Thursday 17/3

Quarterly results discussed via conference call by Accenture, Dollar General, FedEx, and GameStop.

Friday 18/3

The Bank of Japan announces its monetary policy. It is expected that the BOJ will maintain its key short-term interest rate unchanged at negative 0.1%. Similar to other nations, the BOJ is following suit and raising interest rates despite having the highest Japanese consumers’ expectations of inflation on record.

The National Association of Realtors releases its report on existing home sales for February. According to the economists, the expectation is one of a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.1 million homes sold, lower by the January figure by 400,000.

The Leading Economic Index for February released by The Conference Board. Expectations are for a 120 reading, roughly similar to the January figure. The Conference Board predicted a growth rate of 3% for the gross domestic product this year.