An essential tool for DIY investors who follow the market closely is an economic calendar showing the release dates and times of economic data. The most widely-known calendar is produced by Econoday and is available at the Bloomberg site. Go to www.bloomberg.com
and click the drop-down list button. The next to the last item is "Economic Calendar."
CLICK TO ENLARGE
In addition to economic data, the calendar shows weekly Treasury auctions for bills, notes, and bonds. DIY investors involved in the bond market need to know the timing of these auctions because interest rates can sometimes get volatile when the auctions go better than or worse than expected. You'll notice that the auction results for notes and bonds are reported at 1 pm. For example, today the 5-year Treasury auction results will be reported at 1 pm. If you are a novice in this area and are interested in following Treasury auctions, you may want to tune in to CNBC at 1 pm. At that time, Rick Santelli gives an assessment of the auction results
- very useful information if you happen to be buying or selling bonds or bond funds.
You'll also notice that there is a report issued on Wednesday at 10:30 am called the "EIA Petroleum Status Report." This report is on oil inventories and is a market mover in the energy markets. Again, if you are in the market buying or selling energy stocks or funds, you need to be aware of when this report is issued. At the bottom of the calendar page is an important legend that tells you which reports are deemed important and which reports have market expectations available. As DIY investors know, it is "news," i.e., the difference between expectations and actual results that move stock and bond prices.
For example, today at 10 am the Consumer Confidence report will be released by the Conference Board. Clicking on "consensus," the DIY investor will find that the number is expected at 64.0 and estimates range between 55.0 and 70.0. The DIY investor will also notice that most major releases are reported at 8:30 am . The biggie this week is Friday's report of the employment situation. The DIY investor can easily find that the consensus for that report is that 200,000 jobs were added in the month of March.
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