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August 28, 2013  Wed 2:14 AM CT

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Today's calendar includes two minor housing-related numbers.

MBA will announce weekly mortgage applications for home loans at 7 a.m. ET. The National Association of Realtors follows with pending home sales for July at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect an increase of 0.2 percent versus a 1 percent decline the previous month.

The Energy Department is also scheduled to report changes in crude-oil inventories 30 minutes later. Given this week's tensions with Syria, the numbers will probably take a back seat in terms of importance to developments in the Middle East.

Potentially important earnings reports include retailer Express and coal-mining machine company Joy Global, both of which report before the opening bell. Shanda Games and Guess follow in the afternoon.
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