Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, October 3 – 7, 2016

China takes a week off; jobs data in the U.S. puts the spotlight back on monetary policy; Carnegie Hall kicks off fall season with The Rite of Spring.


Monday, October 3: Banks will be closed in China on Monday to celebrate National Day, a holiday commemorating the official ceremony held to inaugurate the People’s Republic on October 1, 1949. The holiday kicks off one of the so-called golden weeks, when factories curtail production to provide workers with a full seven days off. Known for crushing crowds of commuters as workers return to their hometowns, by some estimates, more than 100 million Chinese will take to the rails and highways during the week.

Tuesday, October 4: The Reserve Bank of Australia makes its month monetary policy announcement. While the RBA left interest rates on hold at an historic low of 1.5 percent in early September during the bank’s final policy meeting with Glenn Stevens as governor, some analysts predict that further rate cuts may be warranted on the back of external pressures. New RBA governor Philip Lowe has publicly stated the possibility that aggressive action by the Bank of Japan and others could possibly force his hand if inflation were to weaken. Lowe has predicted that this is unlikely, given improvements in the job market down under that are likely to lead to wage growth.

Wednesday, October 5: Monsanto Co. announces fiscal fourth-quarter financial results following the close of equity markets. The $66 billion merger with German pharmaceuticals titan Bayer recently agreed to by the St. Louis agricultural giant has come under intense scrutiny from industry groups, politicians and even radical nutritional activists as part of a wave of proposed consolidation in the market segment. As a result, the spread between Monsanto’s current share price and Bayer’s bids has remained relatively wide, as merger arbitrage managers see outsized risks that the deal may still fall apart.

Thursday, October 6: During a period of increasingly strained relations between the governments of Venezuela and the U.S. spurred by political crackdowns and economic chaos in the South American nation, on Thursday musicians will set aside national disagreements to focus on beauty instead. The opening night gala of the 2016–’17 season at New York’s Carnegie Hall will feature the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela performing compositions by Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. The Stravinsky piece on the program, Le sacre du printemps, or The Rite of Spring, was first met with public derision upon its premiere in Paris in 1913. Today, the work is considered a pioneer in modern composition and is part of the classical music canon.

Friday, October 7: After the Federal Reserve abstained from raising rates during the September meeting but indicated a bias towards tightening before year’s end, the September Department of Labor employment situation report will be critical for speculators attempting to time the FOMC’s next move. While the argument over what constitutes full employment continues to rage between theorists, the focus of many investors has been the impact of rising payrolls on consumer spending. August retail sales data released two weeks ago registered the first monthly decline since March according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, suggesting that many households have not yet been emboldened by the declining unemployment rate.