UPDATED 10:50 p.m. EDT: China reported its gross domestic product for the third quarter at 6.9 percent, down 0.1 percent from the first two quarters.
Investors this week will focus on economic news out of China and Europe, trying to suss out whether China's economic slowdown signals a worldwide downturn. More earnings reports from the likes of General Motors (NYSE:GM), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), 3M (NYSE:MMM), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG NASDAQ:GOOGL) and AT&T (NYSE:T) also are likely to set the tone, along with Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Boeing (NYSE:BA).
Asian Markets opened slightly lower Monday, after hitting two-month highs Friday. Markets were up 0.3 percent to off 1.1 percent as investors awaited Chinese data.
"Compared to some time ago, more people think things are starting to look up. Yet there remain concerns on the outlook of the global economy," Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Reuters.
China’s central bank fixed the yuan Monday at 6.3527 to the U.S. dollar, its weakest level this month.
“You can’t look past China’s GDP today,” Evan Lucas, market analyst at brokerage IG, told the Wall Street Journal.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rebounded last week, pushing up nearly a point and finishing higher in 11 of the past 14 weeks despite reports from major retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) reporting disappointing third-quarter earnings and continued announcements of workforce cutbacks. The Examiner predicted further disappointing earnings this week and the probability the situation will worsen before it gets better, with a possible retreat on the horizon and volatility a likely market characteristic.
General Motors will be trying to convince Wall Street it is worth more than its $33 IPO value when it issues its earnings report Wednesday, Reuters said. This month, GM predicted earnings of $5 to $5.50 a share for 2015. The Street also is waiting to see if Google can beat profit estimates again.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), the last big U.S. bank to release its results, is expected to report a sharp decline.
China releases its gross domestic product data Monday and will follow up Tuesday with import, export and trade balance figures. Economists predict the Chinese GDP will show a 6.8 percent expansion in the third quarter, compared with last year -- a slight dip from the 7 percent posted for the first and second quarters. Beijing has moved to shore up the economy in recent weeks, devaluing its currency in the wake of a stock market slump. Its central bank has cut interest rates five times since last November.
The European Central Bank Thursday is scheduled to release a monetary policy statement amid a slew of economic reports on unemployment, retail sales and consumer confidence, and Friday's Markit reports on the manufacturing purchasing managers index and industrial orders. The ECB must decide whether to cave in to pressure to ramp up its bond buying, known as quantitative easing.
In the United States, the homebuilders index comes out Monday and is expected to be flat. Tuesday's report on housing starts is expected to show a slight increase of 1.14 million units, compared with 1.13 million in the previous monthly assessment. Mortgage applications are due out Wednesday.
The Bank of Canada is expected to announce Wednesday it is keeping interest rates steady at 0.5 percent.
Mexico releases retail sales figures Wednesday, inflation results Thursday and the unemployment rate Friday.