This Week’s Major Economic Events — September 21–28

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There are a lot of things that can cause stocks to go up or down, including economic events. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of major events happening every week, to help you on your investing journey.

1. Jobless Claims

Thursday, September 24, at 8:30 am EST

Released every week, the initial and ongoing jobless claims are reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. It includes people filing for unemployment insurance benefits. There are two types- initial which includes people filing for the first time, and continuing, which consists of those who have received benefits before.

Why It’s Important:

Jobless claims are a leading indicator of the current employment situation in the country and the health of the economy. This data is a precursor to the monthly unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With COVID-19 closures causing massive layoffs and the unemployment rate rising over the last few months, these numbers are closely watched by investors for clues on whether or not the U.S. is headed for a recession.

2. Earnings Releases

A few retail companies release their third quarter results this week. If you own or are thinking about buying shares of any of the following companies, then pay attention to their reports this week. It could also be worth watching if you have stocks in similar or rival companies to understand how the sector is doing.

  • Tuesday– Nike, Autozone, Aurora Cannabis
  • Wednesday– General Mills, Cintas
  • Thursday– Accenture, Costco, Rite Aid

Why It’s Important:

Earnings reports give a good indication of the business strength of the company and whether or not it’s profiting. If you own shares of the company or have an ETF that holds some shares of companies it’s worth paying attention to the results. Pay attention to the revenue, earnings per share, and EBIT or earnings before interest and taxes. How did the company perform over the last quarter? These details can help you decide if you want to sell or buy more stock of the company.

3. Powell and Mnuchin Testify on Capitol Hill

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to appear before Congress at three hearings this week. On Tuesday they head to the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the Treasury Departments and Federal Reserve’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday they testify at the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, followed by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Thursday.

Why It’s Important:

Following the economic fallout from COVID-19 shutdowns, the Fed and Treasury moved to stimulate cashflow by cutting interest rates and issuing Treasury notes. Congress is likely to question Powell and Mnuchin on the need for more fiscal support, as lawmakers continue to debate another round of COVID relief and stimulus measures. Powell stated last week that fiscal and monetary policy is needed to ensure an economic recovery, as the Fed indicated it planned to keep interest rates near zero for a while longer.

4. Market Manufacturing PMI

Wednesday, September 24, at 9:45 am EST

The purchasing managers' indexes are closely watched economic indicators released by IHS Markit. Their manufacturing PMI covers private sector companies and is used to determine economic trends in the manufacturing sector. The index summarizes the views of purchasing managers and if market conditions are expanding, the same or contracting.

Why It’s Important:

The PMI is often market moving. It can give investors an indication on the health of the private sector and if the economy is growing or not. If you own stocks of any manufacturing companies or have ETFs in the sector, it’s worth paying attention to these monthly numbers.

Moriah Costa

Moriah Costa is an editor at Investor Junkie and a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in Thomson Reuters, the Arizona Republic, Washington Business Journal, Benzinga, and more. When she isn't writing or reading the news, she makes art journals and travels around Europe.

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