AHEAD OF THE TAPE: Slowdown Lowdown [Wall Street Journal]
Summary: "Investors will be served a smorgasbord of economic news today, and it might be hard to swallow." Things seem to have shifted back to "worry mode" after GDP came in at 1.6% last week, the first serious indication of a potentially serious economic slowdown. Reports on manufacturing, car sales, construction spending and housing come out today -- investors are hoping for a bounce. Manufacturing: The Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers' index of manufacturing -- estimates are for 53.5 for October, up from September's 52.9, which would indicate the sector is still expanding. But a similar index for the Chicago area fell for the month yesterday. Car sales: Auto companies report October sales: Last week AutoNation, the largest U.S. car-dealer, said it expects to cut its orders for cars from the Big Three by 30% this quarter. Housing: September construction spending will show how much builders are scaling back construction; an index of September home sales will show how successfully real-estate agents have been working. Joe Carson, an AllianceBernstein economist: "The more information you get, the more supportive it is of a slowdown that's deeper and longer than what many people are forecasting."
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Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: streetTRACKS SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB), iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB), AutoNation Inc. (AN)
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