- Housing Starts: The housing market still can’t get out of gear. Housing starts took a steep fall in February from the previous month, hitting the lowest level of new starts since April 2009. Both single-family and multifamily construction took significant hits. March data come out Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
- Building Permits: Housing permits remain at extremely low levels and are not expected to improve as long as the levels of inventories of unsold new homes remain high. March data are due out Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales: Sales of previously owned homes fell sharply in February and prices reached a nine-year low. An oversupply of homes and a never-ending wave of foreclosures are pressuring prices and holding back recovery in the market sector. Watch for March data on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed: The Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook surged to multi-decades highs in March, mostly from new orders growth. It’s unlikely, though, that it can continue at the same pace in April (that’s what some economists said about March numbers). Watch for April numbers on Thursday at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators: The leading indicators index continues in an upward trend even with negative economic news such as a decline in building permits. The index has increased 22 of the past 23 months, supporting the optimism that the economic recovery is expanding and accelerating. Data for March come out Thursday at 10 a.m.Note: The markets are closed April 22 for Good Friday.Next Week: The Federal Open Market Committee will hold its third meeting of 2011 next week, April 26-27. There’s been a lot of discussion of late of whether the Fed’s QE2 policy will end prematurely before June, and there’s even been some mention that there might even be a QE3. Watch for an announcement on Wednesday, April 27 at 2:15 p.m.