This week -- March 26 to 30 -- will highlight Wednesday's durable goods report and a busy policy calendar, including the core of the Federal Open Market Committee: Chairman Ben Bernanke and New York Fed President William Dudley. Wall Street will be closely monitoring the Fed officials' speeches, hoping to find clues of their latest views on the economic, inflation and policy outlooks.
Below are other entries on the economic calendar:
7:00 a.m. - Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser (non-voter) speaks on monetary policy at Global Interdependence Center conference in Paris.
8:00 a.m. - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (voter) speaks on Recent Developments in the Labor Market at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Conference in Arlington, Va.
10:00 a.m. - Pending home sales to rise 1 percent month-on-month in February after rising 2 percent in January.
TBD - Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (non-voter) speaks in London at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.
9:00 a.m. - The S&P Case-Shiller home price report is likely to show that prices fell at a slower pace in January. Economists look for a 0.2 percent month-on-month drop in the seasonally adjusted 20-city composite, following the 0.5 percent decline in December. This will leave prices down 3.8 percent on the year.
10:00 a.m. - Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is expected to decline to 70.0 in March from 70.8 in February. This index is basically driven by three factors: gasoline prices, the stock market and initial jobless claims. Rising gasoline prices in March should have taken some of the wind out of consumers' confidence about the future. On the flip side, the equities market has rallied and jobless claims have dipped to a fresh four-year low.
10:00 a.m. - New York Fed President William Dudley (voter) will appear at a Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee hearing entitled Federal Reserve Aid to the Eurozone: Its Impact on the U.S. and the Dollar.
12:45 p.m. - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (voter) lectures at George Washington University School of Business: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis Part 3.
1:20 p.m. - Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher (non-voter) speaks at a Dallas Fed community forum in Louisiana on Federal Reserve operations and economic update.
3:45 p.m. - Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke speaks at the 2012 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference (via videoconference) on Building Sustainable Communities.
9:00 p.m. - St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (non-voter) speaks on Monetary Policy in a Global Setting: China and the United States at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
1:30 a.m.* - France: Fourth quarter GDP, final revision. No change expected.
4:30 a.m.* - U.K.: Fourth quarter GDP, final revision. No change expected.
8:00 a.m.* -- Germany: Consumer Price Index for March to decline.
8:30 a.m. - Durable goods orders should see a solid 3 percent rebound in February from a deep 3.7 percent drop in January. Boeing's orders remain healthy, which should provide support for the headline orders figures. Stripping out transportation, economists expect durable goods orders to rise 1.7 percent.
3:55 a.m.* - Germany: Unemployment Rate for March.
5:00 a.m.* - Euro zone: March Business Climate Indicator, Consumer Confidence and Service Confidence.
8:30 a.m. - Initial jobless claims for the week ended March 24 should edge slightly lower to 350,000 from 348,000 recorded in the prior week.
8:30 a.m. - Third estimate of real gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2011. Economists expect GDP to remain unrevised at 3.0 percent.
12:15 p.m. - Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart (voter) speaks on the European economic crisis and how it affects you panel discussion at Emory University in Atlanta.
12:45 p.m. - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (voter) lectures at George Washington University School of Business: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis Part 4.
1:00 p.m. - Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser (non-voter) speaks on the economic outlook to business leaders at the Rotary Club of Wilmington.
6:45 p.m. - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker (voter) speaks to bankers, lawyers and law students from the University of North Carolina School of Law's Center for Banking and Finance.
7:50 p.m.* - Japan: Industrial production for February.
5:00 a.m.* - Euro zone: Consumer Price Index for March.
8:30 a.m. - Personal income should grow at a slightly faster 0.4 percent pace in February, while personal consumption expenditures are expected to sprint ahead at a 0.6 percent pace on the month. Also released with the report will be the Fed's preferred inflation gauge -- the core PCE price index. Economists expect a soft 0.1 percent increase, which puts the core PCE at 1.8 percent for the year, below the Fed's so-called target of 2 percent.
9:45 a.m. - Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) should moderate to 63.0 in March, after rising to 64 in February.
9:55 a.m. - The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment is expected to edge up to 74.6 in March from the initial estimate of 74.3 for the month.
Appollo Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) is a private education provider. The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company has a market cap of $5.36 billion and will report its second-quarter earnings results on March 26, 2012, after market close. So far this year, shares of Appollo Group have shed 21.27 percent in value.
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) and its units run a U.S. drugstore chain. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company has a market cap of $29.31 billion and will report its second-quarter earnings results on March 27, 2012, before market open. So far this year, shares of Walgreen have gained 1.51 percent.
Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) operates a chain of more than 7,000 general merchandise retail discount stores in 44 states. The Matthews, N.C.-based company has a market cap of $6.79 billion and will report its second-quarter earnings results on March 28, 2012, before market open. So far this year, shares of Family Dollar Stores have edged up 0.03 percent.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYES: BBY) is a multinational retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products and appliances. The Richfield, Minn.-based company has a market cap of $9.64 billion and will report its fourth-quarter earnings results on March 29, 2012, before market open. So far this year, shares of Best Buy have risen 17.72 percent.
Research In Motion Ltd. (USA) (Nasdaq: RIMM) is a Canadian designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has a market cap of $7.16 billion and will report its fourth-quarter earnings results on March 29, 2012, after market close. So far this year, shares of Research In Motion Limited (USA) have slipped 5.79 percent.
* Indicates non-U.S. event or release.
All listed times are Eastern Daylight Time. Dates and times are subject to change.
Source: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Wells Fargo Securities LLC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.