This week's calendar is full of data with the potential to move stocks. It could provide strong signals as to whether a recession is coming or a recovery is taking hold despite weak government finances in Europe and the United States.
The reports begin in the early-morning hours today, with the German and European purchasing managers indexes. October construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing report follow at 10 a.m. ET.
The ISM number for November is more important and is expected to show a reading of 51.2 compared with 51.7 the previous month. Economists forecast that construction spending will grow at a 0.4 percent pace, down from 0.6 percent in September.
Australia's central bank will announce monetary policy tonight or early tomorrow morning. The report is potentially important because it may include clues about the economic health of China, Australia's biggest trading partner.
Wednesday begins the parade of monthly U.S. employment data, starting with ADP's monthly private-sector payrolls. Jobless claims follow on Thursday, and Friday will see November's non-farm payrolls report, as well as consumer sentiment.
Politics may also loom large throughout the week as congressional leaders work to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which threatens to raise taxes and cut spending on Jan. 1.
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