This week is one of the busiest weeks of the year. We broke down some of the key events in our March Preview here, but today we’ll take a closer look at this week—specifically Wednesday, March 15, which is hands down one day you need to be ready for.
Monday, March 13, 2017
- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks in Frankfurt
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
- We’ll focus on this day more below
Thursday, March 16, 2017
- Bank of England and Bank of Japan meetings—both are expected to make no changes
- Housing starts for February
- President Trump releases his fiscal-year 2018 budget
Friday, March 17, 2017
- Index of Consumer Sentiment for March
- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for February
- G20 Finance Ministers meet in Germany
Now let’s look at Wednesday, as we saved the best for last. The Ides of March is always on March 15, which corresponds with the death of Caesar and a major turning point in Roman history. According to Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist, “We don’t know if the Ides of March will be a turning point this year, but it has the makings of being a day that could be very influential, as it could cause many dominoes to fall: from Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes, to further nationalist strength in Europe.”
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Decision, Economic Forecasts, and “Dot Plots.” After the solid February jobs report (235,000 net new jobs created), a rate hike this week is a near certainty. The fact that the odds of a hike were only 40% at the end of February 2017 provides a clue about how strong some of the recent economic data have been. The big question now though is will there be two or three hikes this year, or potentially more? Given Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference after the decision, expect every word to be heavily scrutinized.
Debt ceiling expiration. The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 suspended the debt limit of the United States. This act allowed for borrowing by the U.S. Treasury until March 15, 2017. Upon this date, the debt ceiling, or the upper limit set on the amount of money that the U.S. government can borrow, will be hit. Unless extended, the U.S. Treasury will have to institute extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations. This would begin a process of negotiations between members of both parties and at times has led to contentious debate.
Netherlands general elections. Given the wave of nationalist parties in Europe, the big question here is how many seats can the Party for Freedom (PVV) gain. The party currently has 12 seats in Parliament, and a significant gain in seats could leave the European Union even more unsettled. With elections in France and Germany later in 2017, we will all be watching the Netherlands closely.
Here are some other events on this day:
- Consumer Price Index for March
- Retail Sales for March
- China’s Premier Li Keqiang holds annual press conference
So get ready for a big week. And here’s to everyone getting through it ok (including those in the path of the blizzard in the Northeast), and then enjoying a great St. Patrick’s Day on Friday.
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