Consumer gauge, home prices on tap

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Today's economic calendar features consumer confidence and home prices.

Standard & Poor's will announce the Case-Shiller home price index for November at 9 a.m. ET. Economists expect an increase of 5.2 percent, up from 4.3 percent in the previous month. The news could affect housing stocks and suppliers of building materials.

The Conference Board follows with its consumer-confidence report at 10 a.m. ET. Forecasters are looking for a a reading of 65.1, in line with December's number.

It's a busier day for corporate news, with Eli Lilly, Pfizer, EMC, and U.S. Steel scheduled to release quarterly results before the opening bell. E-tail giant Amazon will follow in the afternoon.

The event calendar gets busier tomorrow through Friday, as the market braces for the Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision, monthly payrolls data, and overseas manufacturing reports.

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