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European Markets

European Markets are called to open flat this morning.

Asian Markets

Asian stocks dropped, extending the regional benchmark index’s longest streak of weekly losses since October 2008, amid concern the global economy is slowing.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by revenue, declined 2.6 percent after forecasting a decline in profit. Ricoh Co., a maker of office equipment, fell 1.2 percent after Japan’s machinery orders fell in April, missing economist forecasts for a gain. In Taipei, HTC Corp., a maker of smartphones using operating systems from Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., dropped 6 percent after UBS AG said the company cut around 1 million units of orders across different models. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. fell 1.6 percent after reporting sales fell in May from a month earlier.

“Downward pressure on stocks is building — make no mistake about it,” said Hideo Arimura, who helps oversee about $2.2 billion at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “The consensus is bearish. There’s no good news coming out.”

US Markets

Wall Street faces a data-heavy schedule this week that is expected to bring more volatility to a market full of investors weary from six consecutive weeks of losses.

The government will release its closely watched May retail sales report on Tuesday and consumer inflation data on Wednesday. That’ only two of the dozen or so reports investors will have to work through.

Portfolio managers said this week’ data are going to be especially important, particularly since the past several weeks of reports have shown signs the U.S. economic recovery is in jeopardy.

“The economic drivers that pushed this market higher have faded,” said Dean Barber, president of the Barber Financial Group.

This week’ inflation numbers will be closely watched, as oil remains subbornly near $100 a barrel and other commodities such as copper and corn trade at record or near-record highs.

“If we get from the data this week paints a picture of high inflation, low economic growth, that’ going to be pretty nasty for stocks,” said Christopher Murphy, managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Events this week


Tuesday: Investors will get the Commerce Department’ retail sales report and the Labor Department’ producer price index, also known as manufacturer inflation.

Economists forecast retail sales fell by 0.7% in May compared with a 0.5% rise reported in April, according to Briefing.com. The May producer price index is expected to have climbed 0.1% versus a 0.8% rise in April.

Consumer electronic retailer Best Buy is slated to report its fiscal first-quarter results before the market open. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Best Buy to have earned 33 cents a share.

Cantor Fitzgerald’ Murphy said with the sluggish economic data and low consumer spending numbers, expectations are low for the electronics retailer. Best Buy shares are down 17% this year.

Wednesday: The Labor Department will release its consumer price index for May at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect consumer inflation ticked up by 0.1% in May, down from the 0.4% rise reported the month prior.

Also out Wednesday are the Empire State manufacturing index, and the Federal Reserve’ industrial production and capacity utilization reports.

Thursday: Investors will get initial unemployment claims at 8:30 a.m. ET from the Labor Department, along with May housing starts and building permits data from the Commerce Department. Economists expect weekly claims will fall to 421,000 from last week’ reading of 427,000 claims.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release its June manufacturing survey at 10 a.m. ET.

Supermarket chain owner Kroger will report results before the opening bell, with analysts expecting earnings of 64 cents per share.

Reporting results after the close will be BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, which is expected to have earned $1.32 a share.


Friday: The University of Michigan will release its initial June consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for the index to fall to a reading of 73.5 from May’ reading of 74.3.