Economic Events on February 29, 2012

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association purchase index will be released at 7:00 AM Eastern time, providing an update on the quantity of new mortgages and refinancings closed in the last week.

At 8:30 AM Eastern time, the preliminary GDP report for the fourth quarter of 2011 will be announced.  The consensus is an increase of 2.8% in real GDP and an increase of 0.4% in the GDP price index.  The real GDP estimate is the same as the advance value for the fourth quarter of 2011, and the GDP price index is the same.

At 9:45 AM Eastern time, the Chicago PMI Index for February will be announced. The consensus index value is 61.0, which is 0.8 points higher than last month, and is still above the break-even level at 50.

At 9:30 AM Eastern time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give his semiannual report to the House Financial Services Committee.

At 10:30 AM Eastern time, the weekly Energy Information Administration Petroleum Status Report will be released, giving investors an update on oil inventories in the United States.

At 2:00 PM Eastern time, the Beige Book report will be released, giving us more information about economic conditions in each Federal Reserve district in advance of the next Fed meeting.

At 3:00 PM Eastern time, the Farm Prices report for February will be released, giving investors and economists an indication of the direction of food prices in the coming months.

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