Politics to dominate market calendar

optionMONSTER

This week's calendar is light, with political events potentially taking precedence over economic data.

The first releases occur tomorrow, with the German ZEW survey of investor confidence and the NFIB survey of small business confidence in the United States both scheduled for before the market opens.

Retail sales on Wednesday morning are likely to be the biggest economic data point. The Federal Reserve will also release minutes from its last meeting that afternoon.

Attention will remain focused on worries about the U.S. "fiscal cliff," which could trigger tax increases and cuts in government spending if lawmakers don't take measures by year-end. Greece's public-debt situation could also be in the news as its parliament seeks to pass its budget and donor countries assess reforms recently approved by Athens.

This week will also see producer price data on Wednesday and consumer prices on Thursday, but those are unlikely to affect sentiment because inflation been a major concern of investors.

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