Eight times per year, the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting becomes the focal point for marketparticipants. Four times each year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) first estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) — the first look at the health of the economy in the prior quarter — dominates the headlines. Similarly, at the start of each month, the Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the monthly labor market report from the U.S. Department of Labor are the centerpieces of any trading week. This week (April 27 to May 1, 2015), three of these four events are on the docket, with only the employment report for April 2015 (due out Friday, May 8) missing. So, while this week’s economic events don’t quite measure up to the weeks in which all of the “big four” economic events take place, which last occurred in the last week of July 2014 (see our July 27, 2014, Weekly Economic Commentary, “Midsummer Madness,” for details), other events make  the coming week as busy as any “big four” week. This week, another 164 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report their first quarter 2015 results. Also, key reports on the health of the U.S. economy in April 2015 are due out (vehicle sales, consumer sentiment, inflation expectations, the Dallas and Richmond Fed manufacturing indexes), which will help investors gauge whether the weakness in the economic data in Q1 2015 was temporary, as we expect, or the start of a new trend. Overseas, reports on Q1 2015 GDP in the U.K., Canada, Taiwan, and Spain will be released, and key central bank meetings are scheduled in Japan, Russia, Brazil, Sweden, and Mexico. Brazil may raise rates while the consensus expects both Sweden and Russia to cut rates….

A Weak Week?