Week Ahead: Manufacturing, Housing & Earnings

By FOXBusiness

Manufacturing and housing data will bask in the limelight next week on an economic calendar otherwise bereft of clearly compelling news.

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Fourth-quarter earnings season is winding down but some highlights include Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) on Monday; Aflac (NYSE:AFL), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) on Tuesday; Allstate (NYSE:ALL), Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), and Visa (NYSE:V) on Wednesday; and the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) on Thursday.

Factory orders will be released Monday offering a gauge on new orders for both durable and non-durable goods. The manufacturing sector was one of several weak areas of Friday’s jobs report --  fewer than 10,000 new manufacturing jobs were created in January.

Redbook retail sales are out Tuesday, a small gauge of sales always important because consumer spending accounts for 70% of the U.S. economy.

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases its purchase applications index on Wednesday. The index measures mortgage applications with lenders and provides insight into housing demand.

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The Federal Reserve has committed itself to low interest rates for several years to come in an effort to revive the long-dormant U.S. housing sector and some regions have recently shown signs of life with housing prices moving higher.