Week Ahead Features OPEC, ECB, With Apple iPhone Unveiling, Too


Key Takeaways:

Key OPEC and ECB meetings coming up later this week Apple expected to unveil new iPhones tomorrow Volatility continues to ease from August highs

After a weekend of huddles behind the line of scrimmage, the new week starts with some potentially market-moving economic huddles on the calendar.

Most importantly, we get meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) and OPEC. The ECB is widely expected to enact some sort of new economic stimulus for the sluggish European economy, while OPEC is widely expected to continue its policy of production cuts. Those cuts haven’t seemed to help the crude market much, as prices remain mired in the mid-$50’s a barrel.

Europe’s anticipated stimulus would come just after China’s government made moves over the last few days to jumpstart economic activity by cutting the ratio of cash that banks are required to hold on their balance sheets. This is something China’s done a lot over the last two years, and maybe it can help the slowing economy there. China’s trade data over the weekend—both imports and exports—looked pretty disappointing, but despite that, Chinese stocks did pretty well Monday.

Meetings continue next week when the Fed gathers. That means we’ll be entering a “quiet period” over the next few days, so those regular headlines about Fed presidents expressing their thoughts on the economy will quiet down for now.

With earnings and the Fed expected to be non-factors this week and the jobs report behind us, volatility has crumbled quickly over the last few days. The Cboe Volatility Index sank to five-week lows near 15 early Monday, down sharply from above 20 at times last month and maybe indicating that investors don’t expect the kind of market turbulence we all got used to in August.

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