Fed Speeches, JOLTs Data, Oil Inventory: 3 Things to Watch



© Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing — Stocks gave back some of last week’s gains on Monday in a muted trading session as Congress introduced an article of impeachment accusing President Donald Trump of “incitement to insurrection.”

Political tensions spilled over into this week with just nine days left in Trump’s presidency as lawmakers tried to find a way to remove him from office early.

President-elect Joe Biden will inherit some of the fallout of the latest Trump scandal, while also having to get a growing pandemic under control in the early weeks of his administration. Vaccine distribution has remained a frustration.

Biden also wants to get moving on a stimulus package that will give more money to households and help relieve local and state governments. The pressure on the stimulus front comes after last month’s jobs report was far worse than expected.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Lots of Fed speeches

Five Federal Reserve officials scheduled to speak on Tuesday on various topics beginning with an appearance by Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic at 9:00 AM ET (1300) GMT. Bostic is supposed to talk about racism and the economy, according to a notice.

But investors could reasonably expect some if not all of the Fed officials to talk about the economy. The U.S. recovery will not get up to full steam until vaccines are distributed widely enough to end the pandemic, Bostic said in a speech on Monday.

“At heart it is a public health crisis first. All the economic fallout has been a function of how we responded to the public health crisis,” Bostic said, as reported by Reuters. “Until that gets settled the economy is going to play out in a slower way.”

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Also scheduled to speak Tuesday: Lael Brainard, Robert Kaplan and Loretta Mester.

2. A window on hiring

job openings data for November are due out at 10:00 AM ET (1400 GMT). The number was 6.6 million for the month before that.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey provides a glimpse at what is happening in the labor market with respect to hiring.

3. Can oil continue to climb?

The industry’s weekly survey of crude inventory would give another indication about the direction of oil prices. The report comes out at 4:30 PM ET (2030 GT).

Last week’s report showed a draw of 1.66 million barrels in the prior week. Oil prices have been rising — over $50 a barrel for the first sustained time since the beginning of the pandemic. Last week, Saudi Arabia agreed to cut 1 million barrels a day in production in February and March to help stabilize prices.

 

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