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JOLTS Job Openings Should Dominate this Week

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An uneventful week ahead

The week after the jobs report is usually uneventful, and this one should be no different as we go into a holiday-shortened week. The highlights of the week will be the NFIB Small Business Optimism index, the JOLTS job openings, and inventories. The inventory-to-sales ratio has been building for a while, and that ratio tends to suggest the possibility of a cyclical slowdown. The JOLTS job openings index has been back at boom-time levels, which is one of the reasons why the US labor market is so hard to decipher.

Overall, the week should be slow, with the machinations of emerging markets and commodity prices driving the action.

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Economic data this week

Here’s a rundown of this week’s economic data.

Monday, September 7, 2015:

  • markets closed

Tuesday, September 8, 2015:

  • NFIB Small Business Optimism
  • labor market conditions index
  • consumer credit

Wednesday, September 9, 2015:

  • MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) mortgage applications
  • JOLTS job openings

Thursday, September 10, 2015:

  • initial jobless claims
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
  • import prices
  • wholesale sales
  • wholesale inventories

Friday, September 11, 2015:

  • producer price index
  • University of Michigan sentiment

Earnings reports

Wednesday, September 10

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Impact on mortgage REITs

REITs such as Annaly (NLY) and American Capital Agency (AGNC) will focus on data that will move the bond market. For them, movements in the bond markets are being driven by the “risk off” trade as investors sell stocks and riskier assets to buy US Treasuries. Note that the Chinese have been big sellers of Treasuries lately, which has limited the “risk off” effect in Treasuries. Investors who want to bet on interest rates could look at the iShares 20-year bond fund (TLT).

Impact on homebuilders

Builders such as PulteGroup (PHM) and Lennar (LEN) will focus on Hovnanian’s numbers. While Hovnanian isn’t a big homebuilder, its results offer insight into some of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. We’re entering the seasonally slow period for the builders, which lasts about as long as football season. Investors can trade the homebuilding sector via the S&P SPDR Homebuilder ETF (XHB).

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