After last week with little economic data, this week has much to think about and react to. Monday gets June retail sales and the July Empire State manufacturing index. Tuesday and Wednesday Ben Bernanke will be testifying at Congress; his comments and answers to questions will be closely monitored for clues about what, if anything, the Fed will do to try to keep the economy growing. For all the talk, the Fed is out of effective ammo,, lower interest rates won’t add jobs or stimulate increased consumer spending.
Other data this week include June existing home sales, June industrial production and factory usage, June housing starts and permits, July Philadelphia Fed business index and June leading economic indicators. On Thursday the Fed will release its Beige Book, the Fed’s details on the economy in the 12 regions.