The Week Ahead

A weekly briefing on the economic calendar

March 14, 2004

Monday

Earnings reports

Dollar General, Service Corp., Tenet Healthcare

Tuesday

* The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announces housing starts and building permits for February. Starts are a measure of the number of residential units on which construction has begun each month, and permits represent the number of new excavations authorized. January housing starts declined in each of the four regions.

Earnings reports

Caro Corp., Ross Stores, Williams-Sonoma, Scholastic Corp., Sports Authority

Wednesday

* The Labor Department issues the Consumer Price Index for February. It is the most widely used inflation indicator. The January report showed the annual core rate remained low and tied to the strong downward pull of durable goods pricing power.

Earnings reports

Biomet, Darden Restaurants, Herman Miller, Restoration Hardware

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.

* The Conference Board releases its leading economic indicators report, a compendium of previously announced economic indicators: new orders, jobless claims, money supply, average workweek, building permits and stock prices. The January index rose 0.5 percent.

Earnings reports

Bear Stearns, Bombay Co., Carnival Corp., Cost Plus, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Winnebago Industries, General Mills, 3Com, Adobe Systems, Barnes & Noble

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