The Fed will be a top priority on Wall Street in the week ahead, as markets also watch for any new fallout from the Trump campaign investigation.
There are a handful of Fed speakers, and their words will be more important after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard Friday said the Fed's interest rate hiking plans may be too aggressive. The minutes from the Fed's May 3 meeting will be released Wednesday, but market developments, some softer data, and new uncertainty around the investigation into Trump's campaign have made them outdated, Fed watchers say.
President Donald Trump will be out of the country, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Italy on his first overseas trip. Trump also attends G-7 at the end of the week. Markets are keenly watching this trip to see how the president's unconventional behavior plays in diplomatic circles and in his interactions with other world leaders.
Oil could be a major focus with OPEC's decision Thursday on whether to extend its current production agreement. West Texas Intermediate crude futures crept back above $50 per barrel Friday on expectations oil producers will strike a bigger deal than their last production-cut accord.
Stocks finished out the past week with just a slight loss, after Wednesday's deep swoon on concerns that Trump's Russia troubles could be taking a more serious turn. But by Friday, traders had stopped worrying about impeachment and were hoping a special counsel on the investigation would bring some calm. However, news broke late Friday that former FBI director James Comey agreed to appear before a Senate committee after Memorial Day, and nervousness could remain in markets ahead of that.
"My guess is that this is just a distraction. The reason it's important for investors is not because Trump is going to get impeached, but because it distracts from the economic program," said Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.
There are some key economic reports including advanced trade data Thursday, and Friday's update on first quarter GDP and durable goods. There is also just a trickle of earnings, including HP, Tiffany and Best Buy....Read more