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Consumer, GDP data should look a little bit brighter


Third quarter GDP should be revised higher and consumer confidence could see a comeback when those reports are released Tuesday.

Economists expect to see the 8:30 a.m. ET report of third quarter GDP to show an upward revision to 2.1 percent growth, from the original reading of 1.5 percent. Consumer confidence is expected to rise to 99.5 from 97.6, when it's reported at 10 a.m. ET. S&P/Case-Shiller home price data is released at 9 a.m. ET, and is expected to show a gain of 5.2 percent, up from 5.1 percent previously.

"The stock market's come back from the lows. I would think it (confidence) would be a little bit better. I think it would be interesting if (confidence) hurdled the 100 line. It might indicate the consumer has weathered whatever ailed them awhile back. Consumers' spirits are bouncing back along with stocks," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo -Mitsubishi.

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Barclays chief U.S. economist Michael Gapen said he thinks the consumer will be doing better because of falling gasoline prices and the jobs market.

"We're looking for a bounce to 100 from 97.6 last month. We're treating last month as a one off and we think it will go back to the levels we saw in July and August," Gapen said.

He said he is also watching the advanced reading of the October trade balance for goods, which would have a bearing on fourth quarter GDP. He expects it to be $60.5 billion, basically flat with last month.

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Rupkey said he's hoping to see a pickup in exports . "People have been concerned about exports for a while, and this will be the data for October," he said.

There is another batch of data Wednesday, but the big number markets are waiting for is the November employment report on Dec. 4, after October's report of 271,000 non farm payrolls and a surprise pickup in wages. That report will have direct bearing on the Fed's rates decision Dec. 16.

Meanwhile, the markets are slowing down and preparing for holiday mode, with trading closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Stocks Monday traded on the lowest volume in a month.

"It's almost looks like the Friday after Thanksgiving, as opposed to the Monday before," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery. "If this is any indication, we'll be meandering this week…We have some midlevel economic data this week, which isn't going to give us much to chew on."

Luschini said the S&P 500 has entered a zone of resistance that goes up to 2130.

"There's a lot of volume in there, and you might get some interested dealers in there who used it as a chance to get in, who now might be interested in using it as a chance to get out," said Luschini, adding that the market was resting after last week's more than 3 percent move higher.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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"It would take a spark for us to get 40 to 50 points higher and push through all-time highs," he said. Stocks were lackluster Monday, with the Dow down 31 at 17,792 and the S&P 500 off 2 at 2086.

Lusichini said it's not clear if the market will have much of a rally into the year end, but it rose last week on the view that the Fed will start hiking rates soon. "It's a weird year. The narrowness of the market is manifesting in the index performing okay, in the mid to low single digits," he said.

Earnings reports are expected from Campbell Soup, Dollar Tree, Hormel Food, Tiffany , Cracker Barrel, Chico's FAS, Signet Jewelers, and Burlington Stores, ahead of the bell. Hewlett Packard reports after the bell, as does Guess and TiVo.

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