This week the markets and your money dealt with a three-hour shutdown of trading on the NASDAQ, a six-day losing streak on the Dow, a retirement announcement from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer that sent Microsoft shares through the roof, and a tumble of epic proportions for teen retailers. So much for a quiet week in August. Investors also had to absorb a brutal new home sales numbers and news that mortgage rates jumped to a two-year high.
So what's on tap next week? More data on housing, lots of Federal Reserve folks speaking and fresh reads on the confidence of the consumer.
Health of the Home Front: On Tuesday morning the latest S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index will be released. This data will be looking at home prices for June across the top 20 cities. Last month the index showed that home prices posted their best year-over-year increase since March of 2006. Will the rise in rates that we have seen impact new home sales start to show up in the Case-Shiller data? On Wednesday the National Association of Realtors will release pending home sales. This will give investors another look at the demand for housing and this again should give the market a read on how the spike in mortgage rates is impacting the housing market.
Mood of the Masses: So how are consumers feeling about jobs, housing and the overall economy? Three reads next week on just that. Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. the Conference Board releases its survey of Consumer Confidence. On Thursday there is a Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index and on Friday the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey.
Lots of Fed Speak: As Wall Street tries to figure out when the Federal Reserve is going to pull back on its bond-buying stimulus program, next week there will be lots of members of the Fed out giving policy speeches. There's no doubt the market will be looking for hints to what will the Fed will do at its next meeting in mid-September. On Tuesday San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams will be discussing monetary policy in Sweden. On Thursday Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker will be speaking in Newport News, Va., and on Friday St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is set to talk about the economy and policy in Memphis.
Bling & Booze: Investors won't have too many earnings reports to digest from major market players next week, but there are a few to keep an eye on. Tiffany's before the bell on Tuesday - this is a pulse check on the health of the high-end consumer here and around the world. On Wednesday it's booze maker Brown-Forman - the parent company of Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort and other brands. This week Jack Daniels announced a $100 million expansion. Could the global demand for booze help bring more jobs back to America?
No End in Sight: CBS and Time Warner still can't reach an agreement so 3 million homes will continue to go without "Under the Dome," pre-season NFL games and the U.S Open. CBS's CEO just signed a deal with Verizon FiOS on a retransmission agreement in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas that is virtually identical to the one offered to Time Warner Cable, according to CBS. This dispute has been going on now for three weeks.