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Real estate, confidence on calendar

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Today's event calendar focuses on residential real estate and consumer confidence.

The Case-Shiller index of home prices and the FHFA Housing Price Index will be released at 9 a.m. ET. Economists expect the Case-Shiller report to show that prices rose 6.5 percent in December versus a 5.5 percent increase in the previous month. There are no forecasts for the FHFA number.

Also before the opening bell, home-improvement giant Home Depot will report fourth-quarter results. That could also affect sentiment toward homebuilders.

Three more data points follow at 10 a.m. ET. New-home sales are expected to come in at an annualized pace of 383,000 in January, up from 369,000 in December. Economists predict that consumer confidence for February will climb to 62 from 58.6 from the previous month. And the Richmond Federal Reserve will announce its regional index of manufacturing activity.

In addition to the economic releases, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will address the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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