After a lackluster start to the second quarter, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
A number of important economic reports also come out this week and could move markets. On Tuesday, we'll learn more about the housing situation when the Case-Shiller 20-City Index releases its February findings, and the Census Bureau provides March data on new-home sales. The market is expecting the Case-Shiller to continue to drop, this time by 3.4%, slightly less than January's 3.8% rate. In the last report, only Miami, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix showed increases in housing prices. New housing starts, meanwhile, are expected to increase slightly from 313,000 in February to 320,000 last month.
Also on Tuesday, the Conference Board will report on consumer confidence. The market is looking for a figure of 69.5, following 70.2 in March. Earlier in April, a similar report by the University of Michigan came in 0.5 points below the previous month.
On Wednesday, we'll get a beat on the manufacturing sector with the durable-goods orders report, which is expected to drop 1.9% from February's figure -- which itself rose 2.4%. And on Friday, the Department of Commerce will provide GDP figures for the first quarter. Analysts are expecting a 2.6% growth rate following a 3% figure for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Over the weekend, several news stories came out affecting Dow stocks. Wal-Mart
In an unrelated legal matter, a New York federal court is taking another look at a $20 million settlement that Bank of America
Finally, JPMorgan Chase
Make it count
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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman holds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, ExxonMobil, and Coca-Cola, creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart, and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. 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.