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For the week of July 26th (in conjunction with Econoday):

Economic data will take the focus back from earnings as the majority of big names have reported for the quarter.  Let’s take a look at what’s on tap:

Monday –

New Home Sales 10:00 AM ET

New home sales plunged 33.3 percent in May to an annual rate of 300,000, the lowest rate on the books in data going back to 1963.  The latest pace compares to an April peak of 446,000 units.  Months’ supply on the market, due to the drop in sales, surged to 8.5 months from April’s 5.8 months.  But the actual number of new homes on the market, down 1,000 in the month to an adjusted 213,000, is the lowest since 1970.  The median price for new homes sold fell  a monthly 1.0 percent to a $200,900—with the year-ago pace at down 9.6 percent.

New home sales Consensus Forecast for June 10: 310 thousand-unit annual rate

Tuesday –

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales 7:45 AM ET

Redbook 8:55 AM ET

S&P Case-Shiller HPI 9:00 AM ET

Consumer Confidence 10:00 AM ET

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for June fell to 52.9 in a nearly 10 point decline the size of which usually corresponds with an economic shock.  At the national level, the drop was mainly due to concern over the job market and income growth.  At the regional level, there were indications that confidence also was pulled down by the ongoing psychological and economic damage from the Gulf oil spill. The June decline was led by severe weakness in the East South Central and the South Atlantic. More recently, the mid-July reading for Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment dropped sharply from June.

Consumer confidence Consensus Forecast for July 10: 51.0

State Street Investor Confidence Index 10:00 AM ET

Wednesday –

MBA Purchase Applications 7:00 AM ET

Durable Goods Orders 8:30 AM ET

Durable goods orders in May declined a revised 0.6 percent after jumping 2.9 percent in April.  Excluding the transportation component, however, new durable orders rebounded a revised 0.6 percent, following a 0.9 percent decrease in April.  The big negative in the report was the transportation component which dropped 6.9 percent in May—tugged down by a 29.6 percent plunge in the volatile nondefense aircraft subcomponent.  Advances were widespread in other components.  Looking ahead, we may see some softening in the underlying trend for new orders.  The new orders index in the ISM manufacturing report eased to 58.5 in June from 65.7 in May, with 50 being breakeven.  But a rebound in aircraft likely will boost the headline number.

New orders for durable goods Consensus Forecast for June 10: +1.0 percent

EIA Petroleum Status Report 10:30 AM ET

Beige Book 2:00 PM ET

The Beige Book being prepared for the August 10 FOMC meeting is released this afternoon.  Focus likely will be on whether companies are hiring and whether consumers are spending.

Thursday –

Jobless Claims 8:30 AM ET

Initial jobless claims for the July 17 week jumped 37,000 to 464,000. This followed a 31,000 drop the week before. The Labor Department indicated that the volatility was related to seasonal adjustment difficulties around the July 4 holiday.  Continuing claims fell 223,000 in data for the July 10 week.

Jobless Claims Consensus Forecast for 7/24/10: 460,000

EIA Natural Gas Report 10:30 AM ET

Friday –

GDP 8:30 AM ET

GDP growth for the first quarter’s third estimate was revised down to an annualized 2.7 pace from the prior estimate of 3.0 percent and an initial estimate of 3.2 percent.  The downward revision to GDP growth primarily reflected an upward revision to imports and a downward revision to personal consumption expenditures that were partly offset by upward revisions to exports and to private inventory investment.  Looking ahead, traders will not just focus on overall growth but also on final sales.  However, a wild card is the annual revisions to GDP and prior quarters’ growth could come into play for market reaction.

Real GDP Consensus Forecast for advance estimate Q2 10: +2.5 percent annual rate

GDP price index Consensus Forecast for advance estimate Q2 10: +1.0 percent annual rate

Employment Cost Index 8:30 AM ET

The employment cost index for civilian workers in the first quarter rose 0.6 percent (not annualized) for the highest rate of the recovery and compared with a 0.4 percent rise in the fourth quarter. The year-on-year rate increased to 1.7 percent, 2 tenths above the fourth-quarter pace.  The latest quarterly gain was led by benefits costs which jumped 1.1 percent while wages & salaries remained tame at plus 0.4 percent.

Employment cost index Consensus Forecast for Q2 10: +0.4 percent simple quarterly rate

Chicago PMI 9:45 AM ET

The Chicago PMI edged down six tenths in June to 59.1 but remained well over 50 to indicate significant month-to-month growth for the area’s business activity. The new orders index for June, however, slipped to 59.1 from a prior string of 60-plus readings.

Chicago PMI Consensus Forecast for July 10: 56.0

Consumer Sentiment 9:55 AM ET

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s Consumer sentiment index plunged in the mid-July reading, down nearly 10 points to a 66.5, putting this index back to the lows of last year. Both the expectations and current-conditions components showed roughly 10 point drops.  Since the last reading, there hasn’t been any notable net progress in unemployment claims, the stock market has swung back and forth, and economic news has been less positive.  So, odds are that sentiment will be soft for the final July number.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for final July 10: 67.0