Economic data, earnings on the calendar
David Russell | [email protected]
Attention may focus on Europe early as Germany reports retail sales and Italy publishes manufacturing data.
The United States government follows with weekly jobless claims and the final revision to fourth-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET. Claims are the more important of the two, and are expected to show 338,000 people seeking initial unemployment benefits last week. That would mark a small gain from 336,000 the previous week. Lower readings are usually considered bullish.
The Institute for Supply Management will announce its Chicago purchasing managers index at 9:45 a.m. Economists anticipate a 56.5 figure, down from 56.8 last month.
Weekly changes in natural-gas inventories will be released by the Energy Department at 10:30 a.m., which could potentially impact trading in energy stocks.
There are also three potentially important earnings reports: Research in Motion, now known as BlackBerry, and fertilizer maker Mosaic both issue results before the opening bell. IT consultancy Accenture follows in the afternoon.
Markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday.