- Personal Income and Spending: Personal income jumped 1 percent in January, due mainly to the cut in the payroll tax. Personal spending also increased but less than market experts expected. Now with gas prices at the pump going up, consumers will probably have less disposable money to spend. Data for February come out Monday at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence: The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose in February to a nearly three-year high. But rising energy prices, continuing tensions in the Middle East, and developing post-earthquake and tsunami conditions in Japan may likely make consumers sheepish about their economic future. Watch for March numbers on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
- Factory Orders: Lower demand for machinery and defense equipment pulled factory orders down earlier this month, dashing hopes for a rebound after start-of-the-year snowy weather conditions. New orders for big-ticket items such as planes, computers, and cars followed the lead of machine orders. February data is due out on Thursday at 10 a.m.
- Nonfarm Payrolls: The good news is nonfarm payrolls surged by 192,000 jobs in February — the gain was the highest since May 2010. The unemployment rate also dipped below 9 percent for the first time since April 2009. But February’s bounce is unlikely to persuade the Fed to change its monetary policies any time soon, according to CNBC, even though the Fed is keeping a close eye on the unemployment rate to determine the timing of an interest rate hike. Watch for March data on Friday at 8:30 a.m.
- ISM Index: Expansion in the manufacturing sector continued to pick up pace in February. In fact, the ISM Manufacturing Index of 61.4 last month was the strongest level since the index reached 69.9 in December 1983. Watch for March data on Friday at 10 a.m.