The Dow Jones Industrial Average
But today is a new day, and investors will be hoping that new economic reports released this morning can help erase yesterday's losses.
What to watch today
Investors will surely be watching the Department of Labor's weekly report on initial jobless claims. This metric shows the number of claims filed by individuals seeking state jobless benefits. A lower number correlates with an improving economy, and vice versa. Last week, claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the lowest level since February 2008. Economists are expecting jobless claims to come in today at 350,000, up slightly from last week. Also today, the Labor Department will release revised claims data from 2007 through 2011 and new seasonal factors for 2012.
Perhaps more importantly, the Department of Commerce will release its GDP and GDP Deflator third estimates for the fourth quarter. This report is important because the GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity and is a key indicator of the country's financial health. The GDP Deflator measures the level of prices, converted into constant dollars, of all new final goods and services produced in the United States. Estimates for both the GDP and GDP Deflator aren't expected to change much from the last report, at 3% and 0.9%, respectively.
These two reports will go a long way in helping determine whether the Dow can bounce back today, or whether the markets will decline for the sixth time in eight days.
Outside the Dow, there are some earnings reports that investors will be watching closely. Research In Motion
The big picture
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Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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