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June 18, 2013  Tue 3:16 AM CT

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Today's calendar focuses on housing and inflation, but the Federal Reserve remains a dominant theme.

The consumer price index and housing starts for May will both be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are forecasting a rise of 0.2 percent in the CPI and 0.1 percent in the core reading. Higher numbers could be interpreted bearishly because it might increase the case for the Fed to halt quantitative easing--a major question tomorrow when the central bank announces interest rates and holds a press conference in the afternoon.

Housing starts are expected to increase at an annualized pace of 950,000, up from 853,000 in April. Economists see building permit of 983,000, down from 1.02 million the previous month. Higher readings would likely be bullish for homebuilders and related companies.

Germany's Zew index of economic sentiment will also be reported even earlier in the morning and could affect sentiment in the United States. 
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