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Manufacturing index dominates the calendar

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

The main events on today's economic calendar are manufacturing reports from Europe and the U.S.

The Euro Zone and Germany release their purchasing managers index in the overnight session. Last month, both were below the key 50 level that's the breakpoint between contraction and expansion. Weak readings could hurt sentiment, while a strong data point could drive buying.

Far more important, however, is the Institute for Supply Management's U.S. report at 10 a.m. ET. The last release missed expectations but still showed expansion. Economists predict a modest increase to 53 from 52.4 in February. As one of the more forward-looking reports, it could have a significant impact on the market in either direction.

The Commerce Department will also report February construction spending at 10 a.m. Consensus estimates are for an increase of 0.5-1 percent, versus a contraction of 0.1 percent previously. This data point has little impact on the market and is likely to be overshadowed by the ISM number.

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