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This Week: Home sales, consumer confidence, Fed minutes

The Associated Press

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

The National Association of Realtors issues its November tally of pending U.S. home sales Monday.

The trade group's pending home sales index, which measures the number of purchase contracts signed, fell 1.8% in October. Economists project they rose 1.3% in November. Pending sales are a barometer of future home purchases. Signed contracts usually become completed purchases after a couple months.

Pending home sales index, monthly percent change:

June 2.8

July -2.5

Aug. 1.4

Sept. 1.4

Oct. -1.8

Nov. (est.) 1.3

Source: FactSet

EYE ON CONSUMERS

Economists expect that U.S. consumers are feeling more confident about the economy than last month.

They predict the Conference Board's December consumer confidence index, due out Tuesday, rose to 128.1. That would be up from November's reading of 125.5. A reading of 90 or better reflects a healthy economy.

Consumer confidence, by month:

July 135.8

Aug. 134.2

Sept. 126.3

Oct. 126.1

Nov. 125.5

Dec. (est.) 128.1

Source: FactSet

CLOSE-UP ON THE FED

The Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its last interest rate policy meeting Friday.

At the meeting earlier this month, Fed officials left the central bank's short-term rate in a low range 1.5% to 1.75% after cutting it three times in 2019. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed is prepared to keep its interest rate very low through at least next year.