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For the week of August 22 (in conjunction with Econoday):

Earnings season is officially in the books for Q2 so economic data will take center stage this week.  New & existing home sales are will be important market movers as well as an important durable goods report after last month’s surprise drop.  Let’s take a look at what’s on tap:

Monday – No market moving news.

Tuesday –

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales 7:45 AM ET

Redbook 8:55 AM ET

Existing Home Sales 10:00 AM ET

Existing home sales in June dropped 5.1 percent, following a 2.2 percent decline the month before.  Sales for the latest month came in at a 5.37 million annual rate and are up 9.8 percent on a year-ago basis, compared to up 19.2 percent in May. Sales could dip further in July as MBA purchase applications were weak.

Existing home sales Consensus Forecast for July 10: 4.65 million-unit rate

Wednesday –

MBA Purchase Applications 7:00 AM ET

Durable Goods Orders 8:30 AM ET

Durable goods orders in June fell 1.0 percent, following a 0.8 percent drop the month before.  The June decline was led by the transportation component. Excluding transportation, new durables orders slipped 0.6 percent, following a 1.2 percent gain in June. Outside of transportation, major components were mixed, albeit net negative.  Looking ahead, manufacturing surveys for July were mixed on new orders.  The ISM new orders index stood at 53.5, just above break-even 50, and the Empire State index was 10.13, notably above its break-even of zero.  However, Philly Fed’s new orders index was in negative territory at minus 4.3.

New orders for durable goods Consensus Forecast for July 10: +2.5 percent

New Home Sales 10:00 AM ET

New home sales made much more of a comeback than expected in June, rebounding 23.6 percent after plunging 36.7 percent in May. The June pace recovered to an annualized 330,000 from a revised 267,000 for May.  The June percentage was large and that primarily was due to coming off a record low base.  Sales are still at a weak level.  For July, we could see slippage in sales as the June and July numbers for the NAHB Housing Market Index fell notably. The consensus, however, is hoping for marginal improvement.

New home sales Consensus Forecast for July 10: 340 thousand-unit annual rate

EIA Petroleum Status Report 10:30 AM ET

Thursday –

Jobless Claims 8:30 AM ET

Initial jobless claims for the August 14 week jumped 12,000 to 500,000. The four-week average of 482,500 is the largest since December. The Labor Department said there were no special factors affecting the numbers.  Continuing claims continue to come down, down 13,000 in data for the August 7 week. The four-week average of 4.527 million is the lowest of the recovery, likely reflecting workers’ loss of regular benefits.

Jobless Claims Consensus Forecast for 8/1/10: 495,000

EIA Natural Gas Report 10:30 AM ET

Friday –

GDP 8:30 AM ET

GDP growth for the second quarter came in at an annualized 2.4 percent for the initial estimate and followed a revised first quarter gain of 3.7 percent. Final sales of domestic product gained an annualized 1.3 percent in the second quarter, following a 1.1 percent rise the prior quarter. However, this measure includes weakness from the widening in net exports.  Real final sales to domestic purchasers rose 4.1 percent, compared to a 1.3 percent gain in the first quarter.  Economy-wide inflation accelerated in the second quarter as the GDP price index rose an annualized 1.8 percent, following a 1.0 percent in the first quarter. The acceleration in prices was due to the impact from net export components as domestic price inflation actually remained subdued.

Real GDP Consensus Forecast for second estimate Q2 10: +1.3 percent annual rate

GDP price index Consensus Forecast for second estimate Q2 10: +1.8 percent annual rate

Corporate Profits 8:30 AM ET

Consumer Sentiment 9:55 AM ET

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s Consumer sentiment index improved in mid-August to 69.6 from July’s full-month reading of 67.8. The latest number was still below the recent high of 76.04 in June of this year, but was significantly higher than the recession low of 55.3 or November 2008. But we could see some reversal for the final reading given the jump in initial jobless claims and drop in stock prices.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for final August 10: 69.6