FEDERAL BUDGET
      Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. is likely to post a $30 
      billion surplus for September, when quarterly income-tax payments are made. 
      That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of 
      The McGraw-Hill Companies. The surplus is much larger than last September's 
      $7.2 billion windfall. But that's because Sept. 1, 1996, fell on a Sunday, so 
      many of this September's transfer payments were made in August. The expected 
      surplus would mean that the government deficit totaled $114 billion for the 
      entire 1996 fiscal year, ended on Sept. 30. That would be the smallest red-ink 
      total since 1981.
      
      INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS
      Thursday, Oct. 24, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New filings for state unemployment benefits 
      likely jumped to about 335,000 for the week ended on Oct. 19. Filings had 
      fallen to 319,000 in the first week of October, the lowest rate since late July 
      and August. But the General Motors Corp. strike in Canada has spilled over to 
      GM's U.S. operations, causing the idling of about 10,000 workers in Michigan 
      and New York. Once the strike is over, claims should head lower.
      
      DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
      Friday, Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS survey projects that new orders for 
      durable goods increased 1.5% in September, recouping about half of a 3.2% fall 
      in bookings in August. The backlog of unfilled orders likely increased in 
      September, after slipping 0.3% in August.
      
      EXISTING HOME SALES
      Friday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.EDT -- Sales of existing homes probably dipped again in 
      September. The median MMS forecast expects that resales fell to an annual rate 
      of 4.1 million, from 4.3 million in August. If so, existing home sales will 
      have fallen for four consecutive months. However, they still remain above 
      year-ago levels. And the recent drop in long-term mortgage rates may spur new 
      demand in the fourth quarter--or at least hold sales steady.
      
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