Today is the busiest session of the week for economic news, with
numbers due out on both sides of the Atlantic.
European gross domestic product will be released early in the
session, which could affect sentiment. Initial jobless claims at
8:30 a.m. ET are the first report in the United States. Economists
estimate that 325,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for
the first time, up from 319,000 in the previous week. Lower numbers
are bullish for the economy because they mean that fewer people
lost their jobs.
The consumer-price index, scheduled for the same time, is expected
to show prices increasing 0.3 percent overall and 0.2 percent
excluding food and energy. Both rose 0.2 percent in the previous
The New York Federal Reserve's Empire manufacturing index, also due
at 8:30 a.m. ET, is forecast to rise to 4.8 from 1.3 in April.
Industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m. ET are
expected to show no change from the previous month but are unlikely
to affect sentiment.
The Philadelphia Fed's regional index follows at 10 a.m. ET.
Economists are looking for an increase to 16.6 versus from April's
The NAHB's homebuilder-sentiment gauge, also at 10 a.m. ET, is
forecast to improve to 48 from 47. Natural-gas inventories round
out the data 30 minutes later.
Wal-Mart Stores, Kohl's, China DangDang, and Advance Auto Parts
announce quarterly results before the opening bell. Applied
Materials, Autodesk, J.C. Penney, and Nordstrom follow in the
Tomorrow brings housing starts, building permits, and the
University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index.