The Week Ahead: Will the Fed Finally Hike Rates?

Traders will be focused on Wednesday's FOMC announcement, which could bring the Fed's first rate hike in years

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Dec 10, 2015 at 4:45 PM

All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve this week, as the much-anticipated December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kicks off on Tuesday. The FOMC's policy decision -- which could include the central bank's first interest rate hike since June 2006 -- will be announced on Wednesday, followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen. 

Below is a brief list of some key market events scheduled for the upcoming week. All earnings dates listed below are tentative and subject to change. Please check with each company's respective website for official reporting dates. 

Monday, 12/14

There are no major economic reports scheduled for Monday. FuelCell Energy (FCEL) and VeriFone (PAY) will report quarterly earnings.

Tuesday, 12/15

Tuesday's calendar features the consumer price index (CPI), the Empire State manufacturing index, the NAHB housing market index, and Treasury International Capital (TIC) data -- plus, the two-day FOMC meeting will begin. FactSet (FDS) and Peak Resorts (SKIS) are among the few companies stepping into the earnings booth.

Wednesday, 12/16

The most anticipated day of the week features the FOMC policy statement at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by Yellen's press conference at 2:30. Prior to that, traders will have a chance to react to housing starts, building permits, industrial production and capacity utilization, weekly crude inventories, and Markit's flash purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI).

The earnings confessional will see a bit more traffic, as Apogee Enterprises (APOG), FedEx (FDX), Jabil Circuit (JBL), Joy Global (JOY), Oracle (ORCL), and Pier 1 Imports (PIR) are expected to report quarterly results.

Thursday, 12/17

Weekly jobless claims will be reported, as well as the Philadelphia Fed's business outlook survey and the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators. Heading into the earnings spotlight will be Accenture (ACN), General Mills (GIS), Red Hat (RHT), Sanderson Farms (SAFM), and Winnebago Industries (WGO).

Friday, 12/18

Friday's economic calendar features the Kansas City Fed's manufacturing index, the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations, the Baker-Hughes rig count, and Markit's flash services PMI. Meanwhile, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker will speak on the economic outlook in Charlotte, North Carolina.

BlackBerry (BBRY)
, CarMax (KMX), Darden Restaurants (DRI), and Lennar (LEN) will report quarterly earnings. Additionally, options traders should note that Friday is quadruple witching expiration.

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