Stock Market Preview
the marketA busy day for economic data offers two important reports in the premarket. First, investors will be attuned to the Weekly Jobless Claims data, though they could be blizzard impacted. The economists’ consensus sees an increase in claims to 359K, up from the 341K reported last week. Also at 8:30 AM ET, look for the latest Consumer Price Index report for the month of January. The economists’ consensus sees the CPI up slightly by 0.1%, versus December’s absence of change. Excluding food and energy prices, the Core CPI is seen higher by 0.2% this month, versus the 0.1% increase in December.

Two lightly followed data points reach the wire next. The Markit PMI Manufacturing Index is up at about 9:00 AM. The consensus view is for a slight deterioration in February, with the index seen falling to 55.5, down from 55.8 in the final reading for January. This report is the “flash” reading or first reading of the index for February. At 9:45 AM ET, we’ll get the latest Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. This weekly measure of consumer sentiment rose slightly last week to -35.9. It’s down though from highs reached toward the end of last year.

We’ll have another manufacturing data point at 10:00 AM Thursday when the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Survey is produced. This regional index is expected by economists to have improved in February to a mark of 1.1. In January, the index read negative 5.8, which marks contraction, so such a change would be meaningful. At the close of last week, the NY Fed Index improved substantially and broke well into expansionary territory.

Leading Economic Indicators are due for January at 10:00 AM ET. In December, the LEI posted a solid 0.5% increase, but the index was definitely impacted positively by Hurricane Sandy, which set Weekly Jobless Claims lower. Economists are looking for the LEI to rise by 0.3% in this report. This is an important data point given the Q4 GDP contraction of 0.1% noted earlier this month.

Also at 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales will be reported for January. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see this measure of the used home market showing an annual pace of sales of 4.9 million, which is down just slightly from December’s pace of 4.94 million.

Both of the weekly EIA energy reports will be released Thursday, with the Natural Gas Report first up at 10:30 AM ET. The Petroleum Status Report is second at 11:00 AM ET.

A slew of Federal Reserve Bank presidents are scheduled to speak Thursday, including James Bullard (St. Louis Fed), John Williams (San Francisco) and Richard Fisher (Dallas).

The corporate wire includes some big names Thursday. Analyst and investor meetings are scheduled for ReachLocal (Nasdaq: RLOC) and WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL). The Barclays (NYSE: BCS) Industrial Select Conference highlights presentations from Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) and Boeing (NYSE: BA). The Consumer Analysts Group of New York Conference highlights presentations by Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP). The day’s earnings schedule highlights reports from Acadia Research (Nasdaq: ACTG), Aircastle (NYSE: AYR), American International Group (NYSE: AIG), AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE: AHS), Analysts International (Nasdaq: ANLY), Approach Resources (Nasdaq: AREX), Aruba Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN), Atlantic Tele-Network (Nasdaq: ATNI), Atlas Energy (Nasdaq: ATLS), Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP), AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG), Balchem (Nasdaq: BCPC), Bazaarvoice (NYSE: BV), Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: BMRN), Bloomin’ Brands (Nasdaq: BLMN), Boingo Wireless (Nasdaq: WIFI), Brady (NYSE: BRC), BSQUARE (Nasdaq: BSQR), BuildersFirstsource (Nasdaq: BLDR), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG), Calgon Carbon (NYSE: CCC), Carlyle Group (NYSE: CG), CEC Entertainment (NYSE: CEC), Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Ciber (NYSE: CBR), Clayton Williams Energy (Nasdaq: CWEI), CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE), Cogent Communications (Nasdaq: CCOI), Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH), Corelogic (Nasdaq: CLGX), Dana Holding (NYSE: DAN), Del Frisco’s Restaurant (Nasdaq: DFRG), Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR), DexCom (Nasdaq: DXCM), Digimarc (Nasdaq: DMRC), eLong (Nasdaq: LONG), Ensco (NYSE: ESV), ExactTarget (NYSE: ET), Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL), Fifth & Pacific (NYSE: FNP), First American Financial (NYSE: FAF), Flowserve (NYSE: FLS), Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR), GTX Inc. (Nasdaq: GTXI), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Hittite Microwave (Nasdaq: HITT), Holly Energy Partners (NYSE: HEP), Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL), HSN (Nasdaq: HSNI), Hudson Global (Nasdaq: HSON), ICG Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), Idacorp (NYSE: IDA), Integra LifeSciences (Nasdaq: IART), InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN), Internap Network (Nasdaq: INAP), Intralinks (NYSE: IL), Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU), IPC the Hospitalist (Nasdaq: IPCM), JAKK’s Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK), Joe’s Jeans (Nasdaq: JOEZ), Kaydon (NYSE: KDN), KongZhong (Nasdaq: KONG), Lawson Products (Nasdaq: LAWS), Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: LXRX), Libbey (NYSE: LBY), Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM), Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE), Marriott Vacations (NYSE: VAC), Marvell Technology (Nasdaq: MRVL), Mcgrath (Nasdaq: MGRC), Medidata Solutions (Nasdaq: MDSO), Merit Medical (Nasdaq: MMSI), Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), MRC Global (NYSE: MRC), National Cinemedia (Nasdaq: NCMI), NeoPhotonics (Nasdaq: NPTN), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Nordson (Nasdaq: NDSN), Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), Novatel (Nasdaq: NVTL), NPS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NPSP), Olympic Steel (Nasdaq: ZEUS), Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX), Orthofix (Nasdaq: OFIX), Parker Drilling (NYSE: PKD), Patterson Cos. (Nasdaq: PDCO), PBF Energy (NYSE: PBF), Performance Technologies (Nasdaq: PTIX), PG&E (NYSE: PCG), Plains Exploration & Production (NYSE: PXP), Public Service Enterprise (NYSE: PEG), Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), RCM Technologies (Nasdaq: RCMT), Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE: RS), Rocky Brands (Nasdaq: RCKY), Safeway (NYSE: SWY), Sanderson Farms (Nasdaq: SAFM), SBA Communications (Nasdaq: SBAC), SCANA (NYSE: SCG), Select Medical (NYSE: SEM), Shutterstock (Nasdaq: SSTK), Soundbite (Nasdaq: SDBT), Sourcefire (Nasdaq: FIRE), Spectranetics (Nasdaq: SPNC), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SPPI), StealthGas (Nasdaq: GASS), Sun Communities (NYSE: SUI), Superior Uniform Group (NYSE: SGC), Swift Energy (NYSE: SFY), Symmetry Medical (NYSE: SMA), TASER Int’l (Nasdaq: TASR), Teekay (NYSE: TK), Teekay LNG Partners (NYSE: TKG), Teekay Offshore Partners (NYSE: TOO), Teleflex (NYSE: TFX), The Chef’s Warehouse (Nasdaq: CHEF), The GEO Group (NYSE: GEO), TheStreet.com (NYSE: TST), Tornier (Nasdaq: TRNX), Toro (NYSE: TTC), TreeHouse Foods (NYSE: THS), Tutor Perini (NYSE: TPC), UIL (NYSE: UIL), Universal Electronics (Nasdaq: UEIC), Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI), VASCO Data Security (Nasdaq: VDSI), Vipshop (Nasdaq: VIPS), Volcano (Nasdaq: VOLC), WebMD Health (Nasdaq: WBMD), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR), West Pharmaceutical (NYSE: WST), World Fuel Services (NYSE: INT), Wright Medical (Nasdaq: WMGI) and Zale Corp. (NYSE: ZLC).

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