As stocks sail into the holiday season at record highs, strategists are looking past any Santa rally to the volatility that could come with the new year.
In the week ahead, the focus will be very much on economic data, crammed into Tuesday and Wednesday, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. There are durable goods, jobless claims, home prices, income and spending, and consumer confidence readings—all of which will be followed carefully for what they might say about the economic outlook and how the Fed will react to it.
"I'd go with the idea inertia may help keep the bulls floating here," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS. "[The week] should be slow. It has a historical bias to the upside, and Friday's a half day and Thursday's a holiday. It's the ultimate family holiday so a lot of people will stretch it into Wednesday."