New home sales, Santa rally, Star Wars' first weekend box office: 3 things to watch for on Monday

Daisy Ridley as Rey in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."
Disney | Lucasfilm

Here are the most important things to know about Monday before you hit the door.

1. New home sales

First up, we'll know how many U.S. single-family homes were sold last month.

New home sales dropped 0.7% to an annual rate of 733,000 units in October, held down by decreases in activity in the South and Northeast regions. New home sales, which account for about 11.3% of housing market sales, hit a 12-year high in September.

Housing supply has been lean. The number of homes for sale at the end of November was the lowest on record for the month, according to the National Association of Realtors, which began tracking this metric in 1999. There were just 1.66 million homes on the market, down 5.7% compared with November 2018.

2. Santa Claus rally?

Monday will be the last trading session before the official Santa Claus rally begins.

The stock market tends to have unusually strong performance during the final five trading days of the year and the first two tradings days of the new year, which Wall Street nicknamed "the Santa Claus rally." The S&P 500 has posted a 1.3% gain on average since 1950 during those periods, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

The record-setting rally is gaining steam into the year-end, with the S&P 500 rising more than 28%. The benchmark crossed 3,200 for the first time ever on Thursday with a good chance at scoring the best annual return in as many as 22 years.

3. Star Wars' first weekend box office

Critics may not be big fans of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," but will the box office disappoint?

We'll get the box office number for the full opening weekend on Monday. The film, the ninth and final installment in the Skywalker saga, hauled in $40 million in preview showings, becoming the fifth-highest grossing Thursday night preview in U.S. cinematic history.

Expectations for the blockbuster's debut weekend sales have been mixed, with some projecting around $170 million, lower than the other films in this trilogy, to somewhere north of $220 million, about on par with what "The Last Jedi" garnered in 2017.

Major events:

10:00 a.m. ET New Home Sales