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A slow start to this week's calendar

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

This week's economic calendar is light, with few major events until Thursday.

There are no major U.S. data releases today, but France and Italy will report industrial production and Italy will announce economic-growth numbers early in the session. Those could have some impact on sentiment before the opening bell.

There is nothing tomorrow, and Wednesday's only event is weekly data on crude-oil inventories. Last week showed a significant draw, which boosted energy prices.

Thursday brings national retail sales, weekly jobless claims, and natural-gas inventories. Retail sales are potentially the most important release this week.

Industrial production and consumer sentiment follow on Friday morning.

Inflation data is also scheduled, with export and import prices Thursday morning and producer prices Friday morning. Inflation hasn't been a major concern for more than a year, but it could become more important with recent talk of the Federal Reserve ending monetary stimulus. High inflation readings could trigger worries the Fed will stop buying assets sooner rather than later.

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