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Jobless claims, Wal-Mart on docket

By: optionMONSTER
Posted: 5/15/2014 3:30:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: SPX

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 month.

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 9.1 reading.

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 afternoon.

Tomorrow brings housing starts, building permits, and the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index.