European markets are called to open flat this morning.
Asian stocks declined, dragging the regional benchmark index to its lowest level in a week, as slowing jobs growth in the U.S. added to signs the global economic recovery is faltering.
Stocks could be volatile this week as the economic fallout of Friday’ jobs report will continue to weigh heavily on investors’ minds.
This week’ trading agenda is thin on economic reports and corporate earnings. Notable pieces of data include the Federal Reserve’ “Beige Book” on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.
But last week’ bad news will likely set the tone for investors. May’ jobs report fell way short of expectations, and other data, such as the Institute for Supply Management’ closely-watched manufacturing survey, have also disappointed. The Dow fell nearly 3% last week.
Portfolio managers said with this recent wave of bad economic data and a sparse agenda ahead, now is not the time to be putting risk into a portfolio.
“We need to digest the past couple of weeks and debate the reasons why we’re seeing this slowdown,” said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist with the large investment and advisory firm BlackRock. “Is this slowdown temporary, or is there something more fundamental that should be a cause of concern?”
Events coming up this week
Monday: Technology investors will be monitoring Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California, scheduled to start at approximately 1 p.m. ET. Jobs is expected to unveil a new Apple cloud computing music service and possibly a new version of the iPhone.
Tuesday: On Tuesday is the Federal Reserve’ April consumer credit report, released at 3 p.m. ET.
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve will release its “Beige Book” at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The book is a collection of economic anecdotal observations by the Fed’ 12 regional banks and is used by the central banks as part of their decision making regarding interest rates.
Thursday: The Labor Department will release its weekly initial jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET, which investors said will likely be the closest-watched piece of economic data this week. Economists are looking for jobless claims to rise slightly to 423,000.
Also out on Thursday is the U.S. April trade balance figures, which are expected to show a $48.7 billion trade deficit, and April wholesale inventory figures. Economists expect wholesale inventories rose 0.9%, according to Briefing.com
Friday: Investors will get May’ import and export prices from the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect import prices rose 0.6% last month while export prices rose 1%.