The Week Ahead: An Improving Landscape

 | Jan 06, 2013 | 8:00 PM EST
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The first few days of trading in 2013 revealed a number of things:

● Manufacturing economies improved in a number of emerging markets, including in Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and China.

● We saw a firmer domestic manufacturing economy, per data from Markit Economics and the Institute for Supply Management.

● Bullish forecasts were issued for automotive demand and the housing recovery in 2013.

● December job cuts underwent a decline -- and, according to ADP, private-sector hiring picked up.

● Despite weaker-than-expected 2012 holiday sales, December consumer spending climbed, according to Gallup: Consumers reported spending an average of $83 per day in stores, online and in restaurants, excluding household bills and home or car purchases. That's up from $73 per day in November.

This improving landscape, mixed with the averted "fiscal cliff," led to a solid start to the 2013 trading year, with all three major indices finishing the week in the green. This past week, I recommended that investors revisit a number of companies poised to benefit from the improving economies.

Still, the rebound will be still be constrained by a number of factors, including the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, which will take a bite out of consumer paychecks. According to the December employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings rose only 2.1% year over year -- so it stands to reason that consumers will continue to spend cautiously near term. 

Turning toward the coming week, although we'll see a handful of economic indicators and the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, the big newsmaker is likely to be the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is scheduled to run for most of the week. The event is a mecca for technology companies, and is likely to proffer a number of product announcements from the likes of Samsung, LG and others.

In a recent conversation (audio link) I had with Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Agency, key areas to watch include UltraHD television, mobile health and automotive. Also on tap are keynote talks from Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO Paul Jacobs and of Verizon (VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam, just to name a couple.

We'll also witness presentations from Equinix (EQIX) to Entravision (EVC) and DirectTV (DTV) to Digital Realty Trust (DLR) and MDC Partners (MDCA), among others, at Citibank's 2013 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference. The conference is set to take place in the early part of the trading week.

One piece of advice to investors out there: Start compiling a list of reporting data, not only for the companies you own and those in which you may be interested, but also for their competitors and suppliers. In the coming week, we'll start to hear the latest in the railcar market, courtesy of Greenbrier Cos. (GBX); the global aluminum market from Alcoa (AA); and agricultural seed demand from Monsanto (MON).

Here's a closer look at what's on tap for the coming five trading days:


Monday, Jan. 7

  • 2013 Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference

Tuesday, Jan. 8

  • Consumer Credit (November)
  • 2013 Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference
  • International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)


  • Alcoa
  • Acuity Brands (AYI)
  • Global Payments (GPN)
  • Monsanto

Wednesday, Jan. 9

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Mortgage Index (Weekly)
  • 2013 Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference
  • International CES


  • Greenbrier Cos.
  • Helen of Troy (HELE)

Thursday, Jan. 10

  • Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims (Weekly)
  • International CES


Friday, Jan. 11

  • Trade Balance  (November)
  • Import/Export Prices (December)
  • Treasury Budget (December)
  • International CES


  • Wells Fargo (WFC)

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