The holiday-shortened business week of Thanksgiving ended with what appeared to be strong retail sales on Black Friday and the Portuguese Parliament approving an austere 2011 budget on Nov. 26. This week brings more retail news, including Cyber Monday, which is expected to continue to account for a larger percentage of overall holiday sales, along with key reports on housing and, at week’s end, the jobs picture for November. In Europe, following approval of the Irish bailout plan Nov. 28, concern is being raised over Spain’s debt woes, though the government has taken severe austerity steps already to trim debt as a percentage of GDP.
In a reminder that it’s not just Europe that has debt and budget issues, on Monday, Nov. 29, the New York Assembly will meet to address the state’s budget deficit. Also on Monday, we get the first reports on sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday occurs–the National Retail Federation reports that 88% of retailers are sponsoring online promotions for the day. Both the Senate and the House are scheduled to meet; pressing agenda items before the next holiday recess include a continuing resolution on the budget and talks on the sunsetting Bush-era tax cuts. In Europe, the EU Commission releases its 2010-2011 economic forecast.
On Tuesday, Nov. 30, comes retail sales reports from Redbook and the ICSC/Goldman Sachs Chain Store Sales reports. The ISM releases its monthly PMI report, while two assessments of consumer sentiment are released: the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, and the State Street Investor Confidence Index. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is also released. In Washington, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee marks up S. 3967, a bill meant to “encourage investment in and innovation by small business concerns.”
President Obama is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders, including the next Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke meets with business leaders, including the heads of IBM and GM, at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business in Columbus, OH