Despite some

encouraging news from the retail sector, tech stocks once again took it on the chin yesterday.

Look for today's extensive list of economic data to shake up the market and give it some near-term direction. The

Consumer Price Index is due out before the opening bell. The CPI for January is expected to rise 0.3% compared to a 0.2% increase in December. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the CPI is expected to move up 0.2% compared to 0.1% a month ago.

The CPI, like most inflation measures, typically moves markets. Investors generally believe inflation is not a major problem. But last week's

Producer Price Index rattled investors after it showed much more price inflation at the producer level than had been expected. The CPI measures prices consumers pay.

Also factoring in today's trading session will be the latest data on

initial jobless claims and the

BTM-UBSW Retail Sales Index, which arrive on the Street at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively. These two weekly indicators provide a timely outlook on consumer moods.

As the fourth-quarter earnings season winds to a close, today's lineup of earnings announcements is thin. But the heap of economic data should be more than enough for investors to chew on.

Expected Earnings Reports

This table includes S&P 500 companies only. Dates are as expected according to earnings tracker First Call/Thomson Financial, and may change.

Economic Data

(

Forecasts are from

Reuters

. Times are Eastern. For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see

TSC's

Economic Databank.

)

  • 7 a.m.: Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Feb. 17 Refinancing Index. Source: Mortgage Bankers Association. Forecast: n.a.. Previous: 2647.7. Purchase Index: Forecast: n.a. Previous: 277.6
  • 8:30 a.m.: Consumer Price Index for January. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: +0.3%. Previous: +0.2%. Ex-food and energy: Forecast: +0.2%. Previous: +0.1%.
  • 8:30 a.m.: International trade for December. Source: Commerce Department. Forecast: -$32.18B. Previous: -$32.99B.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Real earnings for January. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: n.a.. Previous: -0.4%.
  • 9 a.m.: BTM-UBSW Weekly Chain Store Sales Index for the week ended Feb. 17. Source: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UBS Warburg. Forecast: n.a.. Previous: +0.8%.
  • 9 a.m.: Treasury buyback Source: Bureau of the Public Debt. The Treasury announces the details of tomorrow's reverse auction.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Redbook Retail Average for the month through Feb. 17 vs. January. Source: LJR Redbook Forecast: n.a. Previous: -0.9%.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Treasury auction. Source: . The Treasury announces the results of its monthly two-year note auction, at which $11 billion of securities will be sold, with bids due at 1 p.m.
  • 2 p.m.: Federal Budget for Jan. '01. Source: Treasury Department. Forecast: -$71.81B. Previous: -$62.15B.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Consumer Comfort Index for the week ended Feb. 17 . Source: ABC News and Money Magazine. Forecast: n.a.. Previous: 20.

IPO Lockups Expiring

(TheStreet.com's

Michael Falbo, who writes a column for

TSC's

ipoPros.com subsidiary, keeps a close eye on lockup expirations every week. For more on lockup expirations and why they matter, check out Ben Holmes' primer on the subject. The full current lockup expiration list is published separately. For information on IPO pricings, filings and aftermarket activity, plus a calendar of upcoming IPOs, check out

TheStreet.com's

IPO data section.

)

Lockup End

Deal Name

Symbol

Lead Underwriter

2/21/01

ServiceWare Technologies

(SVCW:Nasdaq)

CE Unterberg Towbin