Busy agenda features retail sales

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Today is the busiest session of the week for economic data, featuring three important headlines.

European gross domestic product gets the ball rolling early in the morning. The biggest event comes at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the Commerce Department in Washington announces October retail sales. Economists forecast a gain of 0.3 percent overall and 0.2 percent excluding automobiles. Those respective figures declined 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent the previous month.

Export and import prices, due at the same time, are unlikely to affect sentiment because inflation is not a concern in the market at present.

The University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment number follows at 9:55 a.m. ET and is expected to produce a reading of 87.5, up from 86.9 in October.

Tata Motors and Bitauto are the most important companies announcing quarterly results.

Next week's calendar has several noteworthy events, but no single item is the focus.

Monday brings the New York Federal Reserve's Empire Manufacturing Index, industrial production and capacity utilization. Tyson Foods reports earnings before the opening bell. Agilent Technologies and Urban Outfitters announce in the afternoon.

Tuesday's lineup includes Germany's Zew index of investor confidence and NAHB's homebuilder-sentiment index. Home Depot, TJX, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Medtronic report earnings before the opening bell. PetSmart and Vipshop follow in the afternoon.

Wednesday main items include housing starts, building permits, mortgage applications, and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting. Lowe's, Staples, and Target release numbers in the pre-market. Salesforce.com, Keurig Green Mountain, and L Brands are scheduled for after the closing bell.

The following overnight session brings preliminary manufacturing indexes for China and Europe. On the domestic front, initial jobless claims, and existing home sales are the most important items. Best Buy and Dollar Tree announce in the morning. Gap, Autodesk, and GameStop report in the afternoon.

The week concludes quietly Friday, with earnings from Footlocker and ANN as the only events.

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

Copyright © 2010 OptionMonster® Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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

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