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Investors to focus on Fed this week

Aug. 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- With U.S. markets stumbling, investors this week will look for hints that consumers have some spending left in them for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The Open Market Committee of the U.S. Federal Reserve has no meeting scheduled for August. But Fed officials will be gathering this week for the annual Jackson Hole, Wyo., Symposium and investors will be looking for signs of a policy shift as the U.S. economic recovery slowly gathers strength.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has announced he will not attend this year's Fed retreat due to a scheduling conflict. Economists and investors, as such, can focus on Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, who is scheduled to attend and who is considered a strong candidate to replace Bernanke when he steps down next year.

Major economic data expected this week includes eurozone construction spending for June and leading indicators for China both due for release Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release existing home sale figures for July. Fed meeting minutes from the July meeting are also due for release Wednesday.

Thursday releases include the August purchasing managers index for the eurozone, put out by Markit Economics, the U.S. weekly jobless claims numbers and the U.S. manufacturing PMI for August -- also calculated by Markit Economics.

The Conference Board on Thursday will release a U.S. leading indicators report. The Office of Federal Reserve Housing Enterprise Oversight is set to release home prices for July also on Thursday.

Britain's Office of National Statistics is set to release the second quarter gross domestic product figures on Friday, with investors focused on whether or not the country's recovery has advanced.

Statistics Canada is set to release the country's consumer price index on Friday. The Census Bureau on Friday will release July's new home sales report on Friday.

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