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October 26, 2011  Wed 12:19 AM CT

XHB: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Today's economic calendar includes data on housing, durable goods, and oil inventories.

At 7 a.m. ET, the weekly MBA Purchase Applications data will be released. Economists do not make forecasts for this release. I look only at the purchases component of the mortgage report as it best indicates new economic activity as opposed to refinancing.

Last week purchases came in at 161.4. If this week's number is higher than that by 5 percent or more, it would be bullish. If it is lower by the same margin, it would be bearish.

Durable Goods Orders will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus forecast calls for a drop of -0.9 percent. Expectations range from a very bearish -2.5 percent to a bullish 1 percent.

New Home Sales data comes out at 10 a.m. ET. Most analysts are expecting a rise to 300,000 units from last month's 295,000. Estimates range from 275,000 units, which would be bearish, to 320,000.

The EIA Petroleum Status Report will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Before the EIA data comes out, the American Petroleum Institute issues a competing report based on its own supply data.

The forecast for both reports was for a build of 1.33 million barrels. But the API release, which came out last night after the market closed, showed a surprise build of 2.712 million barrels instead.

If the EIA data confirms this build or shows an even larger one, it could be bearish for crude. If the build number is smaller than the API's 2.712 million barrels, or is a negative number indicating a draw, it could be bullish for oil.

The EIA is a government body, and the API is a private industry group. The two reports do not always agree either in terms of amount or direction.
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