Today, the manufacturing PMI will be released for March. This metric has shown four consecutive months of falling factory activity, which likely signals falling consumer demand.
Tomorrow, investors will get the JOLTS Job Openings report for February. In January, the number of open jobs in the US fell by 410,000 to 10.8 million. Additionally, a report on new orders for US manufactured goods, or factory orders, will be released.
On Wednesday, the non-manufacturing PMI for March will be released, in addition to the US trade deficit for February. Last month, the US trade deficit increased to a three-month high of $68.3 billion. There will also be an update to the interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which currently sits at 6.45%.
On Thursday, the number of jobless claims will be updated. This weekly metric rose by 7,000 to 198,000 for the week ended March 25th, but still remains historically low, disappointing those hoping for signs of a loosening labor market to influence the Fed in a dovish direction.
Friday will finish out the week with updates on the unemployment rate, nonfarm payrolls, and average hourly earnings. In February, the average hourly earnings for employees increased by 4.6% on a yearly basis. Inflation rose by 6% over the same period, outpacing wage adjustments by more than a full percentage point.
Tomorrow, Kirkland’s (KIRK) will kick off the earnings week. The home decor chain has already announced that its comparable sales decreased 5.5% for the 2022 holiday quarter. As the retailer discusses that quarter and the full fiscal year, investors will look for insight into what led to this decrease.
On Wednesday, Conagra Brands (CAG), the parent company of Slim Jim, Swiss Miss, and Orville Redenbacher’s, will hand in its report card, as will Atkins-owner Simply Good Foods (SMPL). Investors will watch closely, as food and beverage conglomerates with expansive consumer goods portfolios offer valuable insight into how inflation affects consumer spending.
On Thursday, updates will come in from the largest beer importer in the US, Constellation Brands (STZ), as well as Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI). The 170-year-old denim company recently announced it would implement AI into its business, using AI-generated images as models to help increase diversity and inclusion. The announcement was met with controversy, with some concerned that the initiative would actually diminish diverse hiring. Investors will look for clarity from the brand.
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