After a

banner day on the


yesterday, the market looks to sustain a two-day rally as it braces for a fresh batch of economic data and some key earnings reports, including financial results from PC maker


(DELL) - Get Report


Headlining today's economic events is the release of the

Philadelphia Fed Index for May. The index signals expansion in the factory sector when it rises above zero and contraction when it dips below that mark. It hasn't moved above zero since November. Economists consider the measure a good gauge of what to expect from the

Purchasing Managers' Index

, and the number has the potential to move markets.

As for earnings, Dell issues its quarterly results today. According to research firm

Thomson Financial/First Call

, analysts expect the company to post first-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, compared with 19 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Ahead of the earnings,

Credit Suisse First Boston

cut its 2002 and 2003 earnings estimates for Dell, citing the aggressive

price cuts the company is implementing.

Dell's shares traded up 89 cents to $25.38 Wednesday.

Economic Data

(Forecasts are from


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


Economic Databank.)

  • 8:30 a.m.: Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended May 12. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: 395,000. Previous: 384,000. Four-week average: Forecast: n.a. Previous: 402,500.
  • 10 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed Index for May. Source: Philadelphia Fed. Forecast: -8.3. Previous: -7.2.
  • 10 a.m.: Leading economic indicators for April. Source: Conference Board. Forecast: unchgd. Previous: -0.3.
  • 11 a.m.: Treasury buyback. Source: Treasury Department. The Treasury buys securities specified yesterday from dealers.
  • 2 p.m.: Federal Open Market Committee minutes. Source: Federal Reserve. The Fed releases the minutes of its monetary policymaking committee's March 20 meeting.