The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, May 27, 10:00 a.m.EDT -- Sales of existing single-family homes are 
      expected to have declined to an annual rate of 4.05 million in April, down from 
      4.10 million in March, according to a survey of forecasts taken by MMS 
      International, one of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Housing demand appears to be 
      holding up fairly well, despite the rise in mortgage rates through April. Rates 
      have since declined.
      Tuesday, May 27, 10:00 a.m.EDT -- The Conference Board's index of consumer 
      confidence is expected to have risen to 117.3 in May from 116.8 in April, based 
      on the MMS survey. The rise is expected partly because the University of 
      Michigan's preliminary May index of consumer sentiment rose to a record high.
      Wednesday, May 28, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The order books of durable goods 
      manufacturers are expected to have shown a 1% increase in April, compared with 
      March, says the MMS survey. That rise would follow a 3% drop in March. Despite 
      that decline, orders remain on a rising trend, with particular strength in 
      nondefense capital equipment excluding commercial aircraft. Orders and 
      shipments might have been adversely affected by auto-industry strikes.
      Friday, May 30, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- First-quarter real GDP is expected to be 
      revised slightly higher, to 5.7%, up from 5.6% originally reported. The 
      Commerce Dept. will also report first-quarter profits. Aftertax earnings are 
      expected to have risen at an annual rate of 2.3% from the fourth quarter.
      Friday, May 30, 10:00 a.m.EDT -- Sales of new single-family homes are expected 
      to have dipped to an annual rate of 800,000 in April, based on the MMS survey, 
      from 814,000 in March. In early May, builders reported a slight drop-off in