Employment, consumer data on tap

optionMONSTER

Today's economic calendar focuses on employment and consumer sentiment.

Mortgage applications will be released at 7 a.m. ET. The data, which showed a gain of 12.6 percent last week, isn't followed by analysts and seldom affects market sentiment.

Weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET are more important. Economists expect a decline to 423,000 from 439,000 last week. A higher reading would be bearish because it would mean that more people had lost their jobs, while a lower number would be bullish. The report was forward by one day because of the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.

The University of Michigan's November consumer sentiment index is scheduled for 9:55 a.m. ET. It was previously reported at 84.90 and is expected to be revised down to 84.

The Conference Board follows with leading economic indicators at 10 a.m. ET. The report will probably have little effect on sentiment because it consists of data that has already been reported separately.

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