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Consumers, Greece the Focus in Coming Week

Earnings season is winding down, but several retailers have releases scheduled in the coming week. J. Crew (JCG) reports on Tuesday, American Eagle (AEO - Get Report) on Wednesday, Aeropostale (ARO - Get Report) on Thursday and Ann Taylor (ANN) on Friday.

Although the past week cleared up some questions surrounding Greece's debt crisis, concerns will bleed into the coming week. Prime Minister George Papandreou finished his much anticipated meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday before speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Sunday, March 7.

On Sunday, Sarkozy reportedly said eurozone countries would stand behind Greece after Athens committed to tough measures designed to reduce the nation's budget deficit. But Sarkozy declined to say what specific steps France and Germany would take as part of that support.

Papandreou meets with President Obama in Washington on March 9.

John Sitilides, a government relations and international affairs specialist with Trilogy Advisors in Washington, says meetings with Germany and France are the most relevant to Greece's financial future. Even though Papandreou's meeting with Obama will likely deal with ongoing issues that aren't necessarily related to its debt troubles, Sitilides said the White House remains very concerned about how Greece's financial health could affect the global economy.

"Both the White House and European powers will be monitoring the situation very closely because there is concern about a possible contagion," Sitilides said.

Global Insight's Bethune said markets just need closure on the Greece issue. "Basically they're waiting for the press conference between Merkel and Papandreou," he said.

-- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
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