This week we may start to see if stock markets can continue to defy gravity or not. We’re near the end of the strongest time of the year for stocks with the VIX at a low level, indicating complacency has set in. With spring earnings season all over except for US retail sales and Canadian bank earnings, however, we’re starting to move into the historically weaker and more volatile time of the year for stocks, which runs through the middle of October. US politicians have been prepping for a big fight over the budget and possible government shutdown in September, which the street appears to be ignoring. It’s a light week for US economic news but a busy one for UK economic news so we could see significant activity in the FTSE and GBP pairs through the week. It’s also a big week for Asia Pacific news including China retail sales/industrial production, Japan GDP and Australia employment which may create evening trading opportunities. It has the potential to be a particularly active week for commodity trading. Metals and energy had plunged in recent weeks but have started to appears washed out with oil and more recently copper starting to rebound. Economic data out of Asia and Europe may spark more speculation on the future of resource demand. Oil in particular could be active this week. A winter of big inventory builds in the US have raised concerns that US production increases were offsetting OPEC production cuts. Last week, however, both API and DOE oil inventories plunged by over 5 mmbbls, a sign the US market may be coming back into balance. This week’s inventory reports could attract attention from traders wondering if last week’s drop was a blip or the start of a trend. This is particularly important with OPEC and Russia discussing whether to extend cuts and for how long with a decision due closer to the end of this month. Action in commodity markets could carry through to resource stocks, particularly in Canada, the UK and Australia. Canada and CAD may also be active around Canadian retail sales and inflation reports late in the week or if President Trump turns his sights back to trade. Economic news (North America time): Sunday evening China retail sales, industrial production NZ retail sales, service PMI Monday US Empire manufacturing Canada existing home sales Tuesday US housing starts, industrial production UK inflation Germany ZEW survey Eurozone GDP Wednesday UK employment US weekly energy inventories Wednesday evening Japan GDP Australia employment Thursday UK retail sales US Philadelphia Fed Thursday evening NZ manufacturing PMI Friday Canada retail sales, consumer prices Earnings Reports: Monday none Tuesday Home Depot Staples Penn West Wednesday Cisco Systems Thursday Wal-Mart Friday none