Week Ahead: Health-Care Ruling and Housing Data


The biggest news event next week is undoubtedly the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected ruling on the 2010 health-care reform legislation, a decision whose impact will be wide-ranging for the business community.

The decision, expected Monday, could determine whether millions of Americans will be required under the law to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.

Businesses have complained since the law was first approved and almost immediately challenged that uncertainty regarding its legality has made it difficult to plan for the future.

The decision on what is arguably President Obama’s signature piece of legislation could also play a significant role in the November presidential election.

Also due next week are economic reports gauging the health of the housing market and consumer confidence.

New home sales for May, due Monday, are expected to rise from April but not by much. As other areas of the economy have shown occasional signs of recovery since the downturn in 2008 the housing market has remained consistently stagnant.

The S&P/Case-Schiller home price index is out Tuesday and a report on pending home sales is out Wednesday.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is out Tuesday and the Reuters/University of Michigan is due Friday. Consumer confidence has taken a hit in recent months as labor markets have stalled.

Two regional Federal Reserve banks -- Richmond Tuesday and Kansas City on Thursday -- will release data on manufacturing and the concern is that those regions will show signs of weakness similar to reports issued recently by the New York and Philadelphia Feds.

In Europe, fiscal leaders will meet Thursday and Friday and the rest of the world will be watching to see if anything resembling a unified front exists in Europe’s effort to ease the two-year-old debt crisis.

In a quiet week for earnings, athletic apparel powerhouse Nike (NYSE:NKE) will release its quarterly report.

The initial public offering market may jump back into action with four new deals expected. The market for new stocks shut down following Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) botched offering in May.