Except for holiday merriment, a quiet week is in prospect as the financial markets wind up the year. Market watchers will be curious to see whether the Dow Jones industrial average can remain above the 2000 level, regarded by many traders as an important threshhold.
From a high point of 2722 on Aug. 25, the Dow plummeted to 1738 on Oct. 19. Last Wednesday, it climbed above 2000 for the first time since Nov. 2, closing at 2005. On Thursday, it slipped back to 1999.
U.S. stock and commodities exchanges will be closed Friday, and most commodities exchanges will work a short day Thursday. And in Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange will work a half-day Monday and then close until Jan. 4.
For those inclined to take the holiday calm as an opportunity to try to peer into 1988, the government will be turning out some relevant data.
On Wednesday, the Commerce Department will release its report on leading economic indicators for November and a report on new home sales for that month. And on Thursday, the department will issue data on manufacturers' shipments, inventories and new orders, while the Agriculture Department reports on agricultural prices from December.