The Week Ahead

Your Money

January 25, 2004

A weekly briefing on the economic calendar:

Monday

Notable earnings reports: American Standard, Dial Corp., Schering-Plough, American Express

Tuesday

The Conference Board releases its monthly survey of 5,000 households done to ascertain the level of consumer confidence. In December, a modest decline followed an upwardly revised 13.2 percent November gain.

Earnings reports: Ingersoll-Rand, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Rockwell Automation

Wednesday

Department of Commerce releases durable goods orders, the dollar volume of orders, shipments, and unfilled orders of goods whose intended life span is three years or more. Orders are considered a leading indicator of manufacturing activity.

Department of Commerce announces December new-home sales and the National Association of Realtors reports existing-home sales. The reports are considered a good indicator of activity in the housing sector.

Notable earnings reports: Exelon, Hershey Foods, Procter & Gamble, Tribune

Thursday

Initial unemployment claims for the previous week are released. Because of its volatility, this report provides a timely, but often misleading, indicator of the direction of the economy.

Notable earnings reports: Bristol-Myers, Exxon Mobil, Illinois Tool Works, Kellogg, Verizon, Gateway

Friday

Chicago purchasing managers index is helpful in forecasting national trends. A slight decline in the December figure followed a 9-point rise in November.

Notable earnings reports: Archer-Daniels, Hewitt Associates, T. Rowe Price

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