From US News and World Report, a list of statistical releases and other events to note for the coming week:
The week ahead, by Paul J. Lim, U.S. News & World Report, 5/16/05: For the second straight week, the health of the retail economy takes center stage on Wall Street, with scores of bellwether retail companies reporting their quarterly results. Among them: Home Depot, Lowe's, Barnes & Noble, and Staples. Meanwhile, the Labor Department will release the latest results of its consumer price index, which measures inflation at the retail level.
Monday, May 16:
EMPIRE MANUFACTURING INDEX: Wall Street learns about the health of the factory sector in the Empire State when the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveals its survey of manufacturing activity.
EARNINGS TO WATCH: Agilent Technologies, hsbc Holdings, Limited Brands, and Lowe's.
Tuesday, May 17:
PPI: The Labor Department is scheduled to release the latest findings of its Producer Price Index, a key gauge of inflation at the wholesale level. In March, the PPI rose a higher-than-expected 0.7 percent. But economists are forecasting a much more modest increase of 0.3 percent in the April report.
HOUSING STARTS: Housing starts are a key indicator of the health of the economy, as they reflect the confidence that homebuilders have in the ongoing strength of consumers. In March, housing starts plunged 17.6 percent, the biggest monthly drop in 14 years. But many on Wall Street are forecasting a turnaround in housing starts, which are expected to be up around 7 percent in April.
EARNINGS TO WATCH: Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Borders Group, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, J. C. Penney, Saks Inc., and Staples.
Wednesday, May 18:
CPI: The Labor Department this morning reveals the latest findings of its Consumer Price Index, a key gauge of inflation at the retail level. In March, the CPI rose a higher-than-expected 0.6 percent. But economists are predicting a much milder increase of 0.4 percent in the April report.
EARNINGS TO WATCH: Foot Locker, Intuit, Men's Wearhouse, PetsMart, and Talbots.
Thursday, May 19:
INDEX OF LEADING INDICATORS: The Conference Board releases the latest results of its closely followed Index of Leading Economic Indicators. The index fell 0.4 percent in March. And it's expected to have fallen another 0.2 percent in April.
FEDSPEAK: Several Federal Reserve Board officials are scheduled to speak at various events across the country today. Both Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Atlanta Fed president Jack Guynn are slated to speak at a housing and economics conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Meanwhile, Fed governor Susan Schmidt Bies will address a conference in Boston while Chicago Fed president Michael Moscow and Fed governor Mark Olson will speak at a conference in the Windy City.
EARNINGS TO WATCH: AnnTaylor Stores, Gap, Sharper Image, and Vivendi Universal.