Five Stock Market Changers to Watch This Week
GDP: GDP increased minimally in the third quarter 2 percent which is still way below the average quarterly GDP growth rate of 3.31 percent. Data for this all-inclusive measure of economic activity is due out Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Markets will be watching to see if the U.S. recovery is gaining some traction.
Home Sales: The foreclosure scandal might now be putting pressure on real estate. Existing home sales for October are due out Tuesday 10 a.m. and new home sales data come out Wednesday at 10 a.m.
FOMC Minutes: Despite criticism, the Federal Reserve is sticking to its QE2 plans to buy $600 billion in Treasuries. One unintended consequence could be faster rising inflation than market expect. Watch for new forecasts for inflation and growth from the Fed on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Durable Goods Orders: With the holiday season kicking off this week, economists will be keeping an eye on orders for durable goods as an indication that Americans are buying big-ticket items. If they are, it will certainly spell good news for manufacturers and retailers (Wednesday 8:30 a.m.).
Jobless Claims: New claims for jobless benefits rose slightly last week, but economists are still optimistic that the trend will improve and will hit a two-year low by year end. Watch for the new number on Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to find out if they’re right.