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September 19, 2013  Thu 2:14 AM CT

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Initial jobless claims are the main item on today's calendar of events.

The Labor Department will release the numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect a reading of 340,000, up from 292,000 last week. A higher numbers is potentially bearish because it would mean that more Americans had lost their jobs.

Existing home sales for August at 10 a.m. ET are forecast to come in at 5.3 million on an annualized basis, down from 5.39 million the previous month. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional economic index, which covers September and is released at the same time, is expected to dip to 9 from 9.3.

Natural-gas inventories round out the agenda at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Noteworthy earnings announcements come from ConAgra and Rite Aid before the opening bell and Tibco Software in the evening.

Friday's calendar is empty aside from Darden Restaurants' quarterly results.

Next week begins with Chicago Fed's regional index on Monday morning, then turns to real estate and the domestic economy.

Tuesday brings the Case-Shiller index of house prices, consumer confidence, and earnings from homebuilders KB Home and Lennar.

Wednesday features durable-goods orders and new home sales.

Thursday's agenda includes the final revision of second-quarter gross domestic product, initial jobless claims and pending home sales. Accenture and Nike also report after the closing bell.
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