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February 27, 2013  Wed 1:16 AM CT

Today's events focus on real estate, durable goods, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The Mortgage Bankers Association will report weekly loan-application data at 7 a.m. ET. While the news seldom moves markets, it provides a sense of demand for housing.

Durable-goods orders for January follow at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists predict a contraction of 3.5 percent, compared with growth of 4.3 percent December. Excluding volatile transportation equipment, growth of 0.2 percent is expected, slower than the 1 percent core rate the previous month.

The National Association of Realtors will announce pending home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Forecasters are looking for a gain of 1 percent, compared with a drop of 4.3 percent the previous month.

Also at 10 a.m. ET, Bernanke will resume testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. Market participants will listen for clues about the central bank's plans to buy assets and about the direction of interest-rate policy.

The Energy Department will announce weekly changes in crude-oil inventories 30 minutes later, which could affect energy prices and companies in the sector.
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