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Fed Chair Powell, big pharma head to the hill — What to know in the week ahead

Heidi Chung

It’s going to be another busy week for markets packed with events that have market-moving potential.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell heads to Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday. It is expected that Powell will reiterate his “patient” monetary policy path this year and outline the Fed’s plans for shrinking the central bank’s balance sheet.

“We will be looking for insight into the underpinnings on Fed’s confidence into the current strength of the US economy, the risks they see in the outlook for growth, and their fears over the path of inflation,” UBS wrote in a note on Friday. “We do not expect Powell to broach the subject of monetary policy rules or altering the inflation target.”

Additionally on Tuesday, big pharma will also be heading to the Hill for a hearing with the Senate Finance Committee on drug prices. CEOs of AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi are expected to attend.

In this July 17, 2018, file photo Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on "The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," at Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Delayed publication of Q4 GDP data will be released on Thursday. “We expect the delayed initial estimate to show that fourth-quarter GDP growth was 2.5% annualised, led by gains in consumption and a positive contribution from net external trade,” Capital Economics wrote in a note on Friday.

The second meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is expected to take place in Vietnam this week.

Initially, there were reports that special counsel Robert Mueller was expected to hand in his report regarding the Trump campaign and Russia to Attorney General William Barr this week. However, on Friday, NBC news reported that a top Department of Justice Official shot down those reports and said Mueller will not be turning in his report this week.

Friday is the March 1 trade deadline between the U.S. and China, and it appears a deal is underway.

“[T]he U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday. “As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.”

Earnings calendar

Monday: Etsy (ETSY), Hertz (HTZ), Mosaic (MOS), Shake Shack (SHAK), Tenet Healthcare (THC) after market close

Tuesday: AutoZone (AZO), Discovery (DISCA), Home Depot (HD), Macy’s (M) before market open; e.l.f. beauty (ELF), Mylan (MYL), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Papa John’s (PZZA), Toll Brothers (TOL), Weight Watchers (WTW) after market close

Wednesday: Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Lowe’s (LOW), Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI), TJX Companies (TJX) before market open; Apache (APA), Booking Holdings (BKNG), Box (BOX), Fitbit (FIT), Hostess Brands (TWNK), HP (HPQ), L brands (LB), Square (SQ), Wingstop (WING) after market close

Thursday: Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), Crocs (CROX), J.C. Penney (JCP), JD.com (JD), NRG Energy (NRG), Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG) before market open; AMC Entertainment (AMC), Autodesk (ADSK), Gap (GPS), Marriott International (MAR), Nordstrom (JWN), Vmware (VMW), Workday (WDAY) after market close

Friday: Foot Locker (FL), Tribune Media (TRCO) before market open

Economic calendar

Monday: Wholesale Inventories month-on-month, December (+0.3% expected, +0.3% prior)

Tuesday: Housing Starts, December (1.250 million expected, 1.256 million prior); Building Permits, December (1.290 million expected, 1.322 million prior revised); FHFA House Price Index month-on-month, December (+0.4% expected, +0.4% prior); Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, February (6 expected, -2 prior); Conf Board Consumer Confidence, February (124.1 expected, 120.2 prior)

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications, week ending February 22 (+3.6% prior); Wholesale Inventories month-on-month, December (+0.4% expected); Pending Home Sales month-on-month, January (+0.8% expected, -2.2% prior); Factory Orders, December (+0.8% expected, -0.6% prior); Durable Goods Orders, December (+1.2% prior); Durables excluding Transportation, December (+0.1% prior); Cap Goods Orders Nondef excluding Air, December (-0.7% prior)

Thursday: Initial Jobless Claims, week ending February 23 (211,000 expected, 216,000 prior); Continuing Claims, week ending February 16 (1.725 million prior); GDP Annualized quarter-on-quarter, 4Q (2.5% expected, 3.4% prior); Personal Consumption, 4Q (3.6% expected, 3.5% prior); GDP Price Index, 4Q (1.7% expected, 1.8% prior); Core PCE quarter-on-quarter, (1.6% expected, 1.6% prior); Chicago Purchasing Manager, February (57.8 expected, 56.7 prior); Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, week ending February 24 (59.6 prior)

Friday: Personal Income, January (0.3% expected); Personal Spending, December (0.1% expected, 0.4% prior); Markit US Manufacturing PMI, February (53.7 expected, 53.7 prior); ISM Manufacturing, February (56.0 expected, 56.6 prior); ISM Prices Paid, February (52.0 expected, 49.6 prior); University of Michigan Sentiment, February (95.8 expected, 95.5 prior)

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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