Consumer data, housing sales in focus

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Several economic reports today focus on American consumers and workers.

Weekly jobless claims start the list of events at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists estimate that the number of people seeking initial benefits rose to 375,000 from 368,000 last week. A smaller reading would be bullish for stocks because it would indicate that fewer people have lost their jobs, while the opposite would be the case in the event of a higher reading.

New home sales and consumer confidence follow at 10 a.m. ET. The annualized pace of new home sales was expected to increase at a 379,000 in November from 368,000 the previous month. A stronger reading could be bullish for the market, especially for homebuilders and related stocks, while a lower figure could trigger selling.

Economists forecast that consumer confidence declined to 70 from 73.7 in November. Once again, a higher number would be bullish.

Natural-gas inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET, which could sway sentiment toward some energy stocks.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: UNG , XHB , XLY

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