Last week, a strong jobs report drove the stock market to record highs while the Federal Reserve made no changes to its policy of keeping interest rates low. Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate down to 0.5 percent.
This week will probably be a quiet one for economic data.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) index for March is released at 10 a.m. The index provides a more refined perspective on the nation’s job market than unemployment figures.
Consumer credit for March is released at 3 p.m. Analysts forecast that it will drop to $16 billion, from $18.14 billion in February.
Weekly jobless claims data are out. The number of claims is expected to increase to 335,000. Last week, the number of jobless claims fell to 324,000, their lowest level in five years.
The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade figures for March at 10 a.m. The figures are expected to show a gain of 0.4 percent, after a decline of 0.3 percent in February.
Sales figures for various retail chains are scheduled to be released throughout the day, offering a window into the health of the consumer.
Some Federal Reserve officials give speeches across the country today. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the 49th annual conference on banking structure and competition in Chicago. He plans to talk about monitoring finance.
Esther George, president of the Kansas City regional bank, will speak about the economy in Jackson, Wyo. She is slated to address the Wyoming Business Alliance.