- Associated Press - Monday, January 25, 2021

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

CONFIDENCE IMPROVING?

A closely watched gauge of U.S. consumer confidence is due out Tuesday.

Economists predict the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 90 in January. That would be up from 88.6 in December, when rising coronavirus cases pulled the reading down to its lowest level since last summer. A reading of 90 or better reflects a healthy economy. The index can provide clues about consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of all economic activity.

Consumer confidence, by month:



Aug. 86.3

Sept. 101.3

Oct. 101.4

Nov. 92.9

Dec. 88.6

Jan. (est.) 90.0

Source: FactSet

SPOTLIGHT ON APPLE

Wall Street expects Apple’s latest quarterly report card will show more solid profits for the consumer technology giant.

Analysts predict the iPhone maker will report Wednesday that its earnings and revenue in the last three months of 2020 increased from a year earlier. Apple has enjoyed strong demand for its smartphones and other products. Still, it recently had to make concessions after criticism that its app store commissions are excessive. In November, Apple said it would cut those fees in half for most developers beginning this year.

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

The Commerce Department serves up its December tally of new U.S. home sales Thursday.

After stumbling last spring as the coronavirus outbreak led to widespread business lockdowns, sales of new homes bounced back last summer, fueled by record low mortgage rates and a pandemic-induced push to the suburbs. Economists project the pace accelerated last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 850,000 homes. That would be up from 841,000 and the first increase since July.

New home sales, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by month:

July 979,000

Aug. 977,000

Sept. 965,000

Oct. 945,000

Nov. 841,000

Dec. (est.) 850,000

Source: FactSet

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