5 Stock Market Changers This Week – February 27 – 2011

  • Personal Income and Spending: Personal income and spending both increased in November and December, but personal spending outpaced income. The uptick in spending was good news for the economy. But with spending rising faster than income, personal savings dropped in December. Data for January come out Monday at 8:30 a.m.
  • ISM Manufacturing Index: The manufacturing sector picked up steam in January as the ISM Manufacturing Index rose to its highest level since May 2004. In another good sign the economy is recovering, the order backlog expanded for the first time since August. Look for February’s numbers on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
  • Construction Spending: As if the real estate sector needed more bad news, construction spending declined in December after falling in November. Of course, it’s difficult to ascertain how much of an effect December’s snowstorms had on construction spending. But what is known is the number of housing units currently under construction fell to the lowest level on record in December. January data is due out on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
  • Fed’s Beige Book: With a little more than one week to go until the Federal Reserve’s second meeting of 2011, all eyes will be on the Fed’s Beige Book announcement for hints of any overheating economy or inflationary pressures that could push the Fed to raise interest rates. The Fed is also mulling tapering off from its $600 billion bond buying plan.Watch for data on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
  • Nonfarm Payrolls: Nonfarm payrolls increased meagerly in January compared to December’s gains. The Labor Department blamed Mother Nature and lots of wintery weather around the country for the poor jobs growth. Now that the severe weather has subsided, will that have a bearing on February numbers? New data come out on Friday at 10 a.m.

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