Calendar is quiet before busy week

Today's calendar is relatively quiet, with attention potentially turning toward Greek elections this weekend.

Preliminary Chinese and European manufacturing numbers came out in the overnight session. Existing home sales at 10 a.m. ET are the only U.S. data scheduled for release. Forecasters anticipate a 5.1 million annualized pace for December, up from 4.93 million in the previous month.

The national vote in Athens will take place on Sunday. While anti-austerity leftists are expected to win, polls indicate that they may not achieve a complete majority in parliament.

Next week's agenda includes several key earnings reports and economic releases.

Monday brings Germany's Ifo index of business confidence, along with pre-market earnings from D.R. Horton, Norfolk Southern, and Seagate Technology. Microsoft announces in the afternoon, along with Texas Instruments, Rambus, and Zions Bancorp.

Tuesday's big items are durable-goods orders, the Case-Shiller index of home prices, and consumer confidence. Other events include regional-activity indexes from the Richmond and Dallas Federal Reserve banks and new-home sales.

The earnings calendar is also busy that day: 3M, Caterpillar, United Technologies, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin, and DuPont report before the opening bell, then Apple, Amgen, Yahoo, Juniper Networks, U.S. Steel and Western Digital after the close.

Wednesday features weekly mortgage applications, crude-oil inventories, and the Fed's monetary announcement. Boeing, International Paper, General Dynamics, St. Jude Medical, and Hess announce results in the morning. Facebook, Qualcomm, Lam Research, and Teradyne are on the afternoon's roster.

Initial jobless claims, pending home sales, and natural-gas inventories come out Thursday, along with pre-market earnings from Celgene, Ford Motor, Viacom, PulteGroup, Baxter, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Google, Visa, Amazon, Broadcom, JDS Uniphase, and QLogic report in the afternoon.

Friday brings preliminary estimates for fourth-quarter gross domestic product, plus the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index. MasterCard, Eli Lilly, Xerox, Chevron, and Tyson Foods are among the noteworthy companies reporting earnings.

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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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