Last week investors had to sift through quite a few economic reports. The Fed’s Beige book showed the economy is expanding at a modest pace but housing remains weak. Speaking of housing, new home construction rose slightly in September but permits—a gauge of future building activity— declined 5.6 percent. In the week ahead investors expect third quarter earnings reports from Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft and Visa, as well as economic, housing, and consumer confidence data.
We’ll get a read on the economy with the advanced third quarter GDP report— which looks at all the goods and services from July through September. During the second quarter, the economy grew 1.7 percent, but much slower than the previous quarter.
We expect a few housing reports, starting with the September existing home sales report-which looks at sales previously owned homes. In August sales rose 7.6 percent. We’ll also get the Case Shiller home price index report—— for August. The index tracks price changes in twenty metro areas such as Atlanta, Cleveland, and Dallas. In July home prices rose .06 percent.
How do you feel about the economy? We’ll find out with the October consumer confidence report. In September confidence dipped to a 48.5 reading, as Americans worry about jobs and the economy. This was the lowest reading since February. Consumer confidence is an important gauge for consumer spending.