Along with the continuing fallout from Friday's devastating earthquake in Japan, investors will be watching retailer earnings and housing data next week.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with government officials in Egypt and Tunisia next week, her first trip to those nations since their presidents were deposed after mass protests.
Discount shoe seller DSW and teen-clothing retailer Rue21 were expected to report the strongest earnings growth from a year ago, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, while teen retailer PacSun has said it expects its fourth-quarter loss will be wider than expected as weak sales in its women's department more than offset strength in men's sales.
The U.S. government is expected to release housing data for February, including housing starts and building permits. Home construction in the U.S. rebounded in January, rising to the highest level since September. New building permits, a gauge of future construction, fell 10%.
February data are also due for the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index, which measures the price of a fixed market basket of goods and services purchased by consumers, and the Producer Price Index, which measures the price of goods at the wholesale level. Both indexes reported increases in January.
Clinton will meet with government officials in Egypt and Tunisia from Tuesday through Thursday next week, her first trip to those nations since their presidents were deposed after mass protests. Clinton is also expected to meet with Libyan opposition leaders, who have sought to remove Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi.
The Obama administration said it will comply with a judge's order to act on five pending deepwater oil-drilling permit applications by the end of next week, but has also indicated the proposals are incomplete and that it could be forced to reject the permits if the judge doesn't give it more time. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the permits would be coming as he faced more questions from U.S. lawmakers about pending applications to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A New York bankruptcy judge on Tuesday will mull satellite company DBSD North America Inc.'s request to move forward with a $1.1 billion sale to Dish Network Corp. (DISH). DBSD, a unit of ICO Global Communications Holdings Ltd. (ICOG), filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and was poised to emerge under a plan approved by Judge Robert E. Gerber that would have handed ownership of the company to its bondholders. The plan, however, was overturned by a higher court.
The U.S. and Canada will move to daylight-saving time from standard time on Sunday, when clocks will be moved forward by one hour.