Week Ahead: Key Consumer Data and a Yelp IPO

Investors have a busy week ahead with economic data due related to consumer sentiment and auto and retail sales. Also on tap is a high-profile initial public offering from popular social-media Web site Yelp.

The Conference Board's confidence index is due Tuesday and the February figure is expected to rise from January. Unemployment has fallen in recent months, dipping to 8.3% in January, enough to impact consumers’ attitude toward spending.

Other consumer data is due Thursday with personal income and consumer spending numbers, both expected to have improved.

Also due Thursday is the most recent jobless claims figures.

The IPO from Yelp is scheduled for Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. The site is an exchange for reviews on everything from restaurants to local plumbers. It’s become one of the most popular sites on the Internet and is going public at a time when investors seem enthralled by social media sites. Yelp is hoping to raise up to $100 million through the sale of 7.15 million shares at a range of $12 to $14. Some analysts have expressed concerned about the company’s growth prospects.

The second reading of fourth-quarter gross domestic product is due Wednesday.

Improved numbers are expected on Thursday from both U.S. car makers and retailers, both of which are believed to be benefiting from the improved job market and corresponding consumer attitude.

Earnings reports are due next week from office-supplies retailers Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS). Also due is home-improvement retailer Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), energy company El Paso Corp. (NYSE:EP), refiner HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) and supermarket company Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR).