The economic calendar refers to the scheduled dates of significant releases or events that may affect movement of individual security prices or markets as a whole. Investors and traders use the economic calendar to plan trades and portfolio reallocations, as well as to be alert to chart patterns and indicators that may be caused or affected by these events. The economic calendar for various countries is available for free on multiple financial and market websites.
Economic calendars usually focus on the scheduled releases of economic reports for a given country. Examples of events that are listed on an economic calendar include weekly jobless claims, reports of new home starts, scheduled changes in the interest rate or interest rate signaling, regular reports from the Federal Reserve or other central banks, economic sentiment surveys from specific markets, and hundreds of other types of events. The majority of the events listed fall into one of two categories: projections of future financial or economic events, or reports on recent financial or economic events.
Check your economic calendar each morning before you start trading, and jot down the times of the major data releases.
Under normal market conditions, you should know what your risk is on every single trade. The risk on each trade—defined as the difference between your entry price and stop-loss price, multiplied by the position size—should be less than 2% of account equity, and ideally 1% or less.
Typically, your stop-loss order will get you out of the trade at the price you expect, so long as you are trading a stock (or other markets) with a tight bid/ask spread and significant liquidity (enough shares or contracts) at each price level to absorb your orders. However, when high-impact data is released, things can drastically change. You face a high chance of slippage (a worse-than-expected price on an order). What was supposed to be only a 1% risk trade could end up resulting in a 5% loss, for example.
The top benefits of using the economic calendar include :
Use our economic calendar to explore key global events on the horizon that could subtly shift or substantially shake up the financial markets.