NEW YORK (
) -- Even after a poor U.S. jobs report last week, investors are cautiously optimistic about the coming week of trading.
As of 5 a.m. EDT Monday, participants who were bullish in the
Bull vs. Bear poll tallied 230 votes, or 48.93% of the 470 votes cast in the poll, while those who were bearish scored 186 votes, or 39.57%. Survey-takers who were neutral on the stock market came in at 54, or 11.48%, down substantially compared to the prior week's figure.
Asian stocks, however, were
in the aftermath of last week's weak U.S. jobs data.
Among the sectors in focus this week, the consumer space will garner the most interest by far as a flood of statistics on various fronts will reveal buying and sales trends. After the market digested an unsteady diet of same-store sales figures last week, retail sales will again be front and center Friday when the Commerce Department unveils its own July figures. Retail sales are projected to grow 0.5% after slipping modestly in June, according to consensus estimates provided by Briefing.com.
Consumers will also be in focus Friday when the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August is released. Estimates are calling for the temperament gauge to rise to 70 this month after registering 67.8 last month.
Earnings season is drawing to a close, but big-name name retailers like
are scheduled to release their quarterly reports throughout the week.
Fires fueling deflation worries could be fanned (or not) come Friday when the government gives indications whether prices at the consumer level ran higher or lower in July. The Labor Department's consumer price index is expected to jump 0.2%, while its core reading is believed to have edged higher by 0.1%.
In other economic reports, government productivity figures will come out Tuesday, followed by trade and budget deficit reads Wednesday, import and export prices on Thursday, and business inventories on Friday.
Blue-chip entertainment firm
, tech outfits
, along with solar names like
are scheduled to report, though the week lacks big-name sizzle otherwise.
will probably be intensely watched Monday after a late-breaking Friday report said
resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
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The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.
Over the weekend, reports emerged that Hurd last week
that eventually led to his ouster.
Canadian phone maker
Research In Motion
will also be under close scrutiny this week after reports emerged that Bahrain has no plans to ban BlackBerry services. The
cited Sheik Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain's foreign minister, who said that security fears do not outweigh the devices' technological benefits.
RIM reached a preliminary agreement with neighboring Saudi Arabia over the weekend
, according to published media reports.
Media attention, as ever, will also be focused on
this week following
reports that a key executive is leaving the company
in the aftermath of the new iPhone's antenna problems.
-- Reported by James Rogers in New York
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