All eyes will be on housing as homebuilders post earnings and housing-related economic reports are released this week. Investors will also be looking for signs of quantitative easing in monetary policy.
Asian markets are mixed today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is flat. Japan’s Nikkei is closed for Monday and China’s Shanghai Shenzen dropped by 0.4 percent.
European shares are up this morning, with the German DAX rising 0.3 percent. Britain’s Footsie 100 is up by 1 percent in mid-day trading.
The S&P 500 index opened up 0.2 percent this morning.
Crude oil is slightly higher on Monday morning, trading just under $74 a barrel.
Spot gold jumped in Monday morning trading, hovering around $1,280 an ounce.
On the economic front, the National Association of Home Builders released results from its monthly survey of members on Monday coming in at an index level of 13, flat from the August survey index reading of 13. Expectations were for an index level of 14 for September. The index is on a scale of zero to 100 with 50 meaning demand is average.
Housing starts for August will be released on Tuesday and is expected to come in at a 550,000 annualized rate, up from 546,000 for July.
Monetary policy will draw attention on Tuesday afternoon, as the Federal Reserve meets, issues a policy statement, and releases the minutes from its last meeting. The key interest rate target is expected to remain unchanged. Investors will scrutinize the statement for signs of further monetary policy easing.
On Thursday, existing home sales for August will be released with a consensus number of 4.05 million annualized home sales, a faster rate than the 3.83 million reported in July.
On Friday, durable goods order in August will be released. Economists are expecting a decline in orders of 1 percent from July to August.
New home sales for August will also be released on Friday. The consensus number is 290,000 annual new homes sold, a slight improvement over the July number of 276,000.
On the earnings front, home builder Lennar (LEN) posted 16 cents per share in quarterly earnings this morning. Analysts were expecting 5 cents. Shares were up almost 6 percent on the good news.
On Tuesday before the open, ConAgra (CAG) will release earnings. The consensus number is 39 cents per share.
Adobe Systems (ADBE) will report on Tuesday at the closing bell, with analysts expecting 49 cents per share in profits.
General Mills (GIS) is scheduled to report on Wednesday at the open, with the street looking for earnings per share of 63 cents.
Nike (NKE) will post earnings on Thursday, with the street looking for $1.00 earnings per share.
And on Friday, KB Home (KBH) will report earnings. Expectations are for a minus 15 cents per share.