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China, Data, Politics Keys to Coming Week

Updated to include news of Basel Committee's adoption of new bank capital standards and a report that HP is close to acquiring ArcSight.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A mixture of economic data, the first trickle of the upcoming earnings season and a continued buildup of political dialogue ahead of the November elections will garner Wall Street's attention in the coming week.

On the back of a series of recent economic data that helped ease investor concerns about the state of the U.S. economy, market watchers will turn their attention east toward China early next week, Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, told TheStreet.

China is expected to announce additional tightening of its monetary policy. Global equity markets took note after China's previous monetary announcements in January and April, Kleintop said. If China further tightens its policies as expected, it would indicate the country views its current pace of slowdown as insufficient and in need of more aggressive action by its policy makers.

"All eyes will be on the People's Bank of China, and its announcement could have global ramifications," he said, adding that "the equity markets have not yet priced in that scenario."

A roster of U.S. domestic data is also expected to be released, as well as the first wave of pre-announcements ahead of third-quarter earnings season.

While it's impossible to predict which companies will offer glimpses of their upcoming earnings reports, a number of blue chips are likely to reset investor expectations, according to Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors, especially because so many management teams' latest communications to investors were of the "don't worry, we'll make it up in the second half" variety.

Alcoa (AA) could offer an updated forecast, Creatura speculated, because the aluminum miner is typically the first Dow Jones Industrial Average component to report its quarterly results.

Investors may hear from firms in the semiconductor space as well after chipmakers Texas Instruments (TXN) and National Semiconductor (NSM) lowered their quarterly outlooks last week, citing a slowing demand for PCs. The pair's revised guidance followed a similar revision from Intel (INTC) late last month.

"You can see what's happening here between Intel, National Semiconductor and TI's report: demand has peaked and is starting to head down," Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder told Reuters.

There may be some disappointments, Kleintop said, because the quarter has been relatively weak compared with initial expectations.

Elsewhere in earnings, several big-name firms are due to report quarterly results in the coming week, namely Best Buy (BBY), FedEx (FDX), Oracle (ORCL) and Research In Motion (RIMM).

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Stock quotes in this article: BBY, FDX, ORCL, RIMM, AAPL, AA, TXN 

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