Economic Events on August 31, 2010

At 7:45 AM EDT, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report will be released, giving an update on the health of the consumer through this analysis of retail sales.

At 8:55 AM EDT, the weekly Redbook report will be released, giving us more information about consumer spending.

At 9:00 AM EDT, the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home price index report will be released.  Given that most economists don’t expect the overall U.S. economy to improve until housing prices end their decline, the market will be watching this number closely.

At 9:45 AM EDT, the Chicago PMI Index for August will be announced.  The consensus index value is 56, which is 6.3 points lower than June, but is still well above the break-even level at 50.

At 10:00 AM EDT, the monthly report on Consumer Confidence for August will be released.  The consensus index level is 50.3, which would be a 0.6 point increase over July.

Also at 10:00 AM EDT, the State Street Investor Confidence Index will be released, which looks at changes in the amount of equities held in the portfolios of institutional investors.

At 2:00 PM EDT, the Federal Open Market Committee will release its minutes for the meeting held on August 10, 2010.  This report contains quarterly economic forecasts from the Federal Reserve and policy changes that were discussed.

At 3:00 PM EDT, the Farm Prices report for August will be released, giving investors and economists an indication of the direction of food prices in the coming months.

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