Retail, Labor Data, Bernanke on Thursday's Economic Calendar

Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

The economic calendar includes a second day of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at 10 a.m. ET, this time before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Producer Price Index will be released. Consensus calls for the index to come at -0.2 percent, down from the previous month. Excluding food and energy, the index is expected to have gained 0.2 percent. The biggest range of forecasts is in the headline number, from a disinflationary -0.6 percent to a gain of 0.3 percent.

Retail Sales will also come out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The headline number, which includes auto sales, is expected to come in at -0.1 percent. Without autos, sales are forecast to have risen 0.1 percent.

The range for the headline number is wide, from a bearish -0.7 percent to 0.5 percent including autos. Without cars, the range is from a bearish -0.8 percent to a bullish 0.5 percent.

Jobless Claims is one of the three reports hitting the tape at 8:30 a.m. ET. A small drop in initial claims is expected, down to 415,000. The range of estimates is wide, from a bullish drop to 375,000 claims to a bearish gain to 440,000 claims.

Business Inventories will be released at 10 a.m. ET. Inventories are expected to grow 0.8 percent, similar to last month's reading. Estimates range from 0.1 percent to a bullish gain of 1.5 percent.