The Week Ahead

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- New orders for durable goods during June probably grew 0.6%, after a 0.9% increase in May. That's based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. While new orders are on the rise, factories are still experiencing a decline in the backlog of unfilled orders.

EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX

Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Compensation in the second quarter most likely increased 0.8%, after rising 0.9% over the first quarter. For the year ended in March, compensation rose by 3.9%, compared to a 4% pace a year earlier. Benefits were up by 4.9%, while wage gains increased 3.5%.

NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES

Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m. EDT -- New single-family home sales in May probably retreated to an annual rate of 980,000, according to the median forecast by S&P's MMS. During May, sales reached a record level of 1.03 million homes. The decreasing likelihood of an interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the near future is pushing mortgage rates back down to the low levels of last year.

EXISTING HOME SALES

Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m. EDT -- Sales of existing homes in June are forecast to have slipped to an annual pace of 5.7 million. In May, existing-home sales edged down to 5.75 million units.

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