Consumer sentiment leads calendar

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The University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index is the main economic report on today's economic calendar.

Economists expect a reading of 78.5 for May, up from 76.5 last month. A stronger number would be potentially bullish for equities, while a miss could provoke selling. The report is scheduled for 9:55 a.m. ET.

Leading indicators for April follow 5 minutes later but are unlikely to affect sentiment because most of the data has already been made public.

The future calendar remains relatively light but includes a Saturday speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which could move markets next week.

Monday's only event is the release of the Chicago Federal Reserve's economic-activity index.

Wednesday brings weekly mortgage applications and existing home sales. Bernanke returns, this time to Capitol Hill, and the Fed releases minutes from its last meeting. China reports manufacturing data in the following overnight session.

European manufacturing data will come out Thursday morning, along with weekly jobless claims and new home sales.

Friday brings German economic growth and the country's Ifo survey of business confidence. Durable-goods orders will be reported in the United States.

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