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Five Things to Watch: Auto Sales and More

Raised debt ceiling rejected, May auto sales slumped and the LinkedIn IPO emulated. Here's what we're watching...

Steering wheel
Anne Rippy | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images
Steering wheel

Automakers' Choppy Road: Annualized auto sales have been dramatically downgraded as the sector continues to get its grip on the supply chain impacts of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Continued weakness from Honda and Toyota will be the story when automakers report May sales Wednesday. The hot name remains Hyundai (like Sunday), which should be the best selling foreign brand for the month.

Budget Battle: Late Tuesday night, the House knocked down the clean debt bill by a whopping 318-97, putting the chamber on record that it won't raise the debt ceiling without corresponding budget cuts. It would seem like substantive progress might be helpful sometime soon. Maybe the inevitable eleventh hour solution will spare us from financial catastrophe... but is that really our best modus operandi for a sustainable long term?

The Digital Boom: Tech's been a fascinating space of late and biggest names in the industry congregate in California Wednesday at the WSJ's All Things Digital conference. With the afterglow of the LinkedIn IPO still shining bright, what are the next soon-to-be-public hot properties? Interestingly, the company that creates the biggest shadow over the event isn't even taking part. Just days before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, to be keynoted by Steve Jobs, can anyone compete with iPhone, iPad and now iCloud?

Weathering Disaster: 2011 has been riddled with natural disaster of all kinds. While it appears that residents of Baton Rouge and New Orleans can rest more easily after allayed fears of flooding from the bloated Mississippi River, Wednesday marks the beginning of what forecasters predict will be a busy hurricane season. While very little compares to the massive destruction felt in Japan earlier this year, is the worst yet to come on the home front?

The Jobs Countdown: Following last month's reading of a 179,000 gain, analysts expect an uptick of 175,000 jobs in the May ADP Employment survey. Markets will keenly watch the Wednesday morning data as a preview of Friday's monthly labor report, in which the national
unemployment rate is predicted to tick below 9%.