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Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, September 21 – 26, 2015

Muslim pilgrims head to Mecca for the hajj; Chinese PMI data on deck; Yellen to speak at endowed lecture series.

Investors left hankering after the anticlimactic Federal Reserve announcement this past week can look forward to more insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen when she speaks this coming Thursday on the central bank’s view of the ongoing recovery in the U.S. economy. Also on deck is more industrial data from China, bringing the largest emerging market to the forefront of financial narratives. And finally, anyone anxious to forget about the markets for a few days can let loose at a major dance music festival in Georgia over the weekend.

Monday, September 21: More than 3 million faithful Muslims will gather around the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city. The hajj is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world. The third day of the event, this year on Wednesday, September 23, coincides with the Feast of the Sacrifice (also known as Eid al-Adha), the larger of the two main Islamic holidays. Financial markets will be closed throughout the Islamic world.

Tuesday, September 22: Financial number junkies will be paying particular attention to the fiscal fourth-quarter earnings announcement from FactSet Research Systems Inc., especially in light of an increase of more than 25 percent in share prices over the trailing 12-month period. Analysts expect the Norwalk, Connecticut–headquartered Bloomberg competitor to post earnings of $1.47 per share with revenues of nearly $262 million for the period.

Wednesday, September 23: The final August Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index reading will be released in China. Consensus forecasts call for a reading of 47.5 versus the initial estimate of 47.3. With emerging-markets volatility in recent weeks hinging on Chinese growth narratives, any surprise is likely to spark a significant reaction.

Thursday, September 24: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is delivering the 19th annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture. The event, named in memory of the longtime head of the economics department at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, will be the first public comments from Yellen following the FOMC announcement to leave rates unchanged. The lecture series has included many luminaries but may be best remembered for Yale professor and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller’s 2006 address, which focused on extended valuations in equity and real estate markets on the cusp of the credit crisis.

Friday, September 25: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases final release second-quarter GDP, as well as updated personal consumption index data for the period. Consensus estimates are for the growth trajectory of the U.S. economy to remain unchanged at a healthy annualized 3.7 percent.

Saturday, September 26: While school may be back in session, some major music events are still on tap in the U.S. TomorrowWorld, first launched in 2013 as an offshoot of Belgium’s major electronic music festival TomorrowLand, gets underway in Chatahoochee Hills, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. During the event’s second year, more than 160,000 music fans attended. This year more than 200,000 are expected to rave to thumpy beats from such globally famous DJs as Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk and Tiësto.

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