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The Week Ahead Nov.23- Nov. 27

11/23/2009

Expect light volume this week due to the holiday shortened trading week. The investment community is focusing on next week's critical unemployment report. Last week, the S&P 500 Index finally traded above 1100.00. However, some negative earnings results and economic data encouraged some mid-week selling, sending the S&P 500 Index to a November 20th close @ 1091.38, slightly below the previous week's 1093.48 settlement. So, in a holiday shortened week, here are some events that will matter to investors:



Monday November 23rd



EXISTING HOME SALES - 10AM



The National Association of Realtors report is expected to show a 2.3% increase in sales of existing homes. Last month an extremely robust 9.4% increase was well received by investors. The annual pace of 5.7 million sales of existing homes is the best level since July 2007.



Tuesday November 24th



CASE SHILLER HOME PRICE INDEX - 9AM

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE - 10AM

FOMC MINUTES - 2PM



This may be the least important of the week's economic data days. Unless, of course, the FOMC minutes reveal a bitter battle between hawks and doves surrounding the timing to reduce the size of the Fed's balance sheet or raise rates. Not likely - coordination seems to be the theme.



Take a look at the YOY% change for the S&P Case Shiller Composite 20 City Home Price Index:

Source: Bloomberg





Wednesday November 25th

CONSUMER SPENDING - 8:30M

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS - 8:30AM

UNIV. OF MICHIGAN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE - 10AM

NEW HOME SALES - 10AM



The busiest and most important "data day" of the week.



Let's begin with Consumer Spending - Consumer spending for the month of September was down 0.5%. A Reuter's survey is expecting consumer spending for the month of October to rise by 0.5%. I believe the "resiliency" in the face of rising unemployment comes from the "affluent consumer." Their contribution is under-calculated and under-appreciated by those in D.C. You don't receive many votes talking about how those with incomes above $200,000 are supporting the consumer component of the economy.



Durable Goods will be released on Wednesday as well. Expectations are for another monthly increase. This month, analysts are looking for a 0.5% increase to follow last month's 1.4% gain. Factories are humming, as inventory re-stocking continues.





HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!



Keep in mind that as we nibbled on our turkey last year, the Capital Markets meltdown and S&P 500 Index settlement the day before Thanksgiving @ 887.68 was in the back of our minds.

Virtus Investment Partners provides this communication as a matter of general information. The opinions stated herein are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions of Virtus, its affiliates or its subadvisers. Portfolio managers at Virtus make investment decisions in accordance with specific client guidelines and restrictions. As a result, client accounts may differ in strategy and composition from the information presented herein. Any facts and statistics quoted are from sources believed to be reliable, but they may be incomplete or condensed and we do not guarantee their accuracy. This communication is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security, and it is not a research report. Individuals should consult with a qualified financial professional before making any investment decisions.