Key economic events for the week of Aug. 19

Last week brought good news for the economy but bad news for the stock market. Stocks tumbled on speculation that the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its bond-buying program as early as next month, based on positive economic reports. This week, the release of the minutes of the Fed’s last meeting could shed light on the central bank’s next move.

Wednesday

Existing-home sales for July are out at 10 a.m. They are expected to rise 1.4 percent after a decline of 1.2 percent in June. Sales are forecast to reach 5.15 million, up from 5.1 million last month. The housing sector’s recovery continues to help bolster the economy.

At 2 p.m., the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting are released. After its last policy meeting, the Fed did not announce any change to its bond-buying program.

Thursday

Weekly jobless claims are out. Analysts expect the number to rise to 330,000 from 320,000 last week.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home-price index for June is out at 9 a.m. The agency also releases its second-quarter home price index. Home prices are expected to have increased 0.6 percent in June, while the second-quarter increase is forecast to be 2.4 percent. That is down from a 0.7 percent increase in May and up from 1.95 percent in the first quarter.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mo., kicks off its annual economic summit in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Attendees scheduled to attend include Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen and Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Friday

New-home sales for July, out at 10 a.m., are expected to drop to 487,000, from 497,000 in June.

Yellen is scheduled to chair a panel discussion at Jackson Hole.

Amrita Jayakumar covers national startups, small business issues and entrepreneurship.

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