Consumer data, housing sales in focus
David Russell | [email protected]
Weekly jobless claims start the list of events at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists estimate that the number of people seeking initial benefits rose to 375,000 from 368,000 last week. A smaller reading would be bullish for stocks because it would indicate that fewer people have lost their jobs, while the opposite would be the case in the event of a higher reading.
New home sales and consumer confidence follow at 10 a.m. ET. The annualized pace of new home sales was expected to increase at a 379,000 in November from 368,000 the previous month. A stronger reading could be bullish for the market, especially for homebuilders and related stocks, while a lower figure could trigger selling.
Economists forecast that consumer confidence declined to 70 from 73.7 in November. Once again, a higher number would be bullish.
Natural-gas inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET, which could sway sentiment toward some energy stocks.