Wall Street could be bracing for more volatility after data on Tuesday revealed China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in five years, a worrisome sign a global slowdown in growth could begin to hit the U.S. economy.
China, the world's third-largest economy, grew 7.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, slower than 7.5 percent in the second quarter. Still, the figure was above forecasts for a 7.2 percent rise, according to Reuters data.
The results come ahead of U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product figures, scheduled for release on Oct. 30. The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said in September, in its third and final estimate. Investors will analyze the July-September period as a gauge to see whether a slowdown in global growth is beginning to impact the U.S. economy.
“I think we may have hit somewhat of a soft patch, but I still think we’re going to see growth in the U.S. of 2.25 percent or 2.5 percent in the third quarter,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
Another key event analysts are anticipating is the Federal Reserve’s upcoming meeting next week. The central bank is expected to announce the end of its 5-year-old quantitative easing program when the Federal Open Market Committee meets Oct. 28-29. “The FOMC will be very careful at the next meeting and indicate that the situation in Europe and the weakening global economy in general is going to have to be taken into consideration,” Cardillo said.
A stream of housing data is also scheduled for release this week, which could add to volatility following last week’s weaker-than-expected economic data. Investors will be eyeing new home sales data on Tuesday, as the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release U.S. existing home sales figures at 10 a.m. EST. The report last month showed U.S. home resales unexpectedly fell in August 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million units, the first decline in four months. Analysts forecast existing home sales will increase to 5.10 million units in September.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency will also release its home price index for the month of August on Thursday, followed by the Commerce Department’s new U.S. single-family homes data on Friday.