This Week: Consumer confidence, Ford earns, home sales

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

EYE ON CONSUMERS

The Conference Board issues its latest monthly index of U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday.

Economists forecast that the October reading slipped to 101.5 from 101.8 in September. The index has been mostly trending higher in recent months, reflecting a more favorable view on current business and labor market conditions. But it remains far below pre-pandemic levels. A reading of 90 or better reflects a healthy economy.

Consumer confidence, by month:

May 85.9

June 98.3

July 91.7

Aug. 86.3

Sept. 101.8

Oct. (est.) 101.5

Source: FactSet

ROUGH ROAD

Ford and other automakers have struggled as the coronavirus forced factories to close and chased customers away from showrooms.

The company slid into the red in the first and second quarters this year as the pandemic crushed its sales. Wall Street expects Ford will report Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings declined from a year earlier as revenue continued to decline. Investors will be listening for commentary from new CEO Jim Farley.

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

A gauge of contracts signed to buy homes is expected to point to a slowing U.S. housing market.

The National Association of Realtors serves up its September pending home sales index Thursday. Economists predict the index rose 0.4% last month. Contract signings are a barometer of finalized purchases over the next two months, which suggests more home sales in October and November. Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes jumped 9.4% in September.

Pending home sales index, monthly percent change:

April -21.8

May 44.4

June 15.8

July 5.9

Aug. 8.8

Sept. (est.) 0.4

Source: FactSet

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