Consumer trust, Apple earns, new home sales

A look at some of the major corporate events and economic indicators coming this week:

A carefully monitored indicator of US consumer confidence will be released on Tuesday.

Economists expect the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index to rise to 90 in January. That would have risen from 88.6 in December, as the rise in coronavirus cases brought the reading to its lowest level since last summer. A reading of 90 or higher reflects a healthy economy. The index can provide clues to consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of all economic activity.

Consumer confidence, by month:

August 86.3

September 101.3

October 101.4

Nov. 92.9

December 88.6

Gen (estimate) 90.0

Source: FactSet

SPOTLIGHT ON APPLE

Wall Street predicts Apple’s latest quarterly report card will show more solid profits for the consumer tech giant.

Analysts predict that the iPhone maker will report Wednesday that its earnings and revenue in the last three months of 2020 have increased from the previous year. Apple enjoyed strong demand for its smartphones and other products. However, it recently had to make concessions after criticism that its app store fees are excessive. In November, Apple said it would halve those fees for most developers starting this year.

BELLWETHER HOUSING MARKET

The Commerce Department publishes its December tally of new home sales in the United States on Thursday.

After stumbling last spring when the coronavirus outbreak led to widespread business lockdowns, new home sales rebounded last summer, fueled by record low mortgage rates and a pandemic-induced push in the suburbs. Economists expect the pace to accelerate last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 850,000 homes. It would be 841,000 and the first increase since July.

Sales of new homes, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by month:

July 979,000

August 977,000

September 965,000

October 945,000

November 841,000

December (estimate) 850,000

Source: FactSet

Through: www.ctpost.com

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