Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, February 29 – March 5, 2016

Super Tuesday U.S. presidential primary elections; Brazil’s central bank considers policy in the face of disinflation.


Investors would be forgiven by fixating on financial markets in Europe, Japan and emerging markets in recent weeks — not to mention the well as the extraordinarily populist tone of the U.S. presidential race. Year-to-date however, the fundamental picture for the U.S. economy has remained steady. Employment data out this coming Friday may present a challenge to U.S. resilience. While China has been a primary topic of conversation among investors worried about slowing demand in developing economies, the monetary policy announcement Wednesday by Brazil’s central bank serves as a reminder that Latin America has woes of its own.

Monday, February 29: Eurostat releases preliminary euro zone February consumer price inflation data amid mounting political pressure for European Central Bank president Mario Draghi to act on dovish statements. Final January CPI data, released this past week, indicated that prices during the first month of the year grew at a pace slower than previously estimated.

Tuesday, March 1: It’s Super Tuesday in the U.S. presidential election cycle. American Samoa and twelve states, including Republican candidate Ted Cruz’s home state of Texas and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’s home state of Vermont, head to the polls to vote in U.S. presidential primaries. The race for the Democratic nomination between Senator Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state and New York senator Hillary Clinton will likely get more clarity in terms of whom holds the broadest popular support. On the GOP side, real estate mogul Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich and neurosurgeon Ben Carson remain in the race out of a field that less than six months out ago had 18 contenders.

Wednesday, March 2: Despite ongoing inflationary pressure, Banco Central do Brasil is not expected to raise interest rates during the March monetary policy announcement. A combination of a steep recession and toxic political response to the ongoing Petrobras scandal have driven multiple ratings agencies to switch to a negative outlook on the nation’s sovereign debt in recent months. This past Thursday, Moody’s Investor’s service became the latest to downgrade the largest South American economy’s debt to noninvestment-grade status.

Thursday, March 3: The World Golf Championships at the Trump National Doral in Miami brings the glitz of fashion and luxury brands in a much more over-the-top manner befitting the outsized personality and sometimes garishness of the host club’s namesake. Among those who will not be present will be the most famous living professional in the league: Tiger Woods is recovering from recent back surgery.

Friday, March 4: The U.S. Department of Labor releases its February employment report. While the U.S. job market has improved steadily in recent quarters, there is speculation among many strategists that Federal Reserve policymakers may be hestitant to hike interest rates as growth wanes abroad.

Saturday, March 5: The 2016 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Philadelphia Flower Show dates to 1829 and is both the oldest indoor horticultural event in the U.S. and among the world’s largest. As East Coast residents face the final weeks of winter, a celebration of color and intoxicating scents is a welcome relief from the dark and cold.