Markets will be hyper-focused on the economy in the week ahead and whether there's any sign it is getting strong enough to encourage the Federal Reserve to start pulling back the security blanket of quantitative easing.
In the holiday-shortened week, none of the data will make a huge difference in the Fed's decision-making, but it will add to the picture on the economy. There is consumer confidence, pending home sales, personal income, and revised first-quarter gross domestic product. But weekly jobless claims Thursday could be the most anticipated because of what it might say about the job market, a week before the June 7 release of the crucial May employment report, which is important for the Fed.
"CNBC always jokes about how every jobs report is the most important jobs report, but this is the most important jobs report we've seen in a long time," said Daniel Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG (and CNBC contributor). "I'm not saying it will be, but if it comes in at 275,000, it's game over."