This Week's Economic Indicators

Before we get to the recognized indicators, some non-indicator news worthy on note (i.e. these things will probably affect indicator performance). First, the cash for clunkers program in the US ends today. This will surely dent demand somewhat in the months ahead. Second, Dell and Sun Microsystems announce results this week, events which will surely affect the current stock market rallies going on everywhere, and determine whether or not the tech sector will resume a leading position in the rally (it led gainers from March until last month, and has lagges somewhat since). Also, oil is trading yet higher, maintaining it’s highest levels for the year.

Japan holds a general election on Sunday, in which the Democratic Party of Japan is expected to defeat the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled virtually without interruption since the end of World War II. The turn against the LDP is richly deserved, given the levels of sleaze, incompetence and lack of coherence the party has represented for years, but the New Democrats, who favor some new economic liberalization measures, some new social protection measures, and a more independent (of Washington) foreing policy, will be challenged to get very much of their agenda enacted.

Tomorrow, US consumer confidence is gauged, while July durable goods orders and new home sales readings come in on Wednesday. The weekly initial jobless claims report is due, as always, on Thursday, and income indicators come in on Friday: personal income and consumption readings are forecasted to show an uptick; if they don’t concerns about the jobless recovery, foreclosures and the reduced workweek will surely put a big dent in the stock market rally, if it persists until then.

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