What To Expect in the Markets This Week

What To Expect in the Markets This Week
What To Expect in the Markets This Week

What To Expect in the Markets This Week, Coming up this week: Latest jobs data and unemployment rate, minutes from the most recent Fed meeting, updated US GDP estimates, and earnings from Walgreens


By TERRY LANE Published December 31, 2023

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaking during a news conference after a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting Dec. 13. Samuel Corum / Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Key Highlights

Investors will get the latest look at the U.S. labor market when the jobs report is released this week, with more data coming on job openings, initial jobless claims, and private-sector payrolls.

Market Projections

The Atlanta Fed will release new projections for fourth-quarter gross domestic product, and the Federal Reserve will disclose the minutes from its most recent Open Market Committee meeting.

Upcoming Earnings

Walgreens, Conagra Brands, Constellation Brands, and UniFirst will report earnings.

Markets are closed on Monday for New Year's Day. Following the holiday, investors will open 2024 with a slate of economic data, while corporate earnings will resume.

Week Ahead

The week will start with the latest projection of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) from the Atlanta Federal Reserve, with data also coming on construction spending and factory orders. Market watchers will examine the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, giving investors insight into the Fed’s most recent interest rate decision.

Noteworthy Events

Tuesday, Jan. 2

S&P final U.S. manufacturing PMI (December) Construction spending (November) Atlanta Fed GDPNow release (Fourth quarter)

Wednesday, Jan. 3

UniFirst (UNF) and Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM) report earnings Job openings (November) ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) (December) Federal Open Market Committee minutes released (Dec. 12-13 meeting)

Thursday, Jan. 4

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Conagra Brands (CAG) and Simply Good Foods Co. (SMPL) report earnings Initial jobless claims (Week of Dec. 30) ADP employment (December) S&P final U.S. Manufacturing PMI (December)

Friday, Jan. 5

Constellation Brands (STZ) reports earnings U.S. employment report (December) ISM Services PMI (December) Factory orders (November)

Investor Focus

Jobs Report To Give Investors a Look at Labor Market Strength As investors anticipate Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts in 2024, they will be looking at the strength of the labor market, which has so far helped keep the economy humming despite a string of rate hikes designed to undercut rising inflation.

Whether that momentum can keep going in 2024 will depend greatly on the performance of the labor market, about which market watchers will get a string of new employment data this week.

Market Anticipation

Most prominently, Friday’s employment report will show if employers are able to continue to add jobs to the economy. Before that, investors will get data on job openings on Wednesday, along with initial jobless claims and private-sector payrolls on Thursday. Already, initial jobless claims from last week hinted that job losses could increase.

Insights on Rate Cuts

FOMC Minutes To Give Insight on Rate Cuts' Timing After the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged at its latest meeting—while also indicating that rate hikes could be coming—investors get a chance to review the minutes from that meeting when released on Wednesday. The minutes will offer insights into deliberations behind the Dec. 12-13 FOMC meeting.

At a press conference after the interest-rate decision, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said members of the committee had begun discussing rate cuts for 2024, so the latest meeting minutes are likely to provide more insight into those discussions and the potential timing of such cuts.

First Earnings Report Under New CEO

Walgreens To Issue First Earnings Report Under New CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance, a Dow Jones Industrial Average component, will report earnings on Thursday, one of a handful of companies issuing earnings reports this week. On the heels of a 30% drop in its share price this year, Walgreens’ earnings report will be the first for new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Wentworth, who took over the role in mid-October. In its last earnings report, Walgreens estimated full-year earnings per share of between $3.20 to $3.50, lower than analyst expectations.

Other companies putting out earnings this week include snack food maker Conagra Brands, egg producer Cal-Maine Foods, and beer importer Constellation Brands.