Updated from 7:55 a.m. EDT

(At 4:20 p.m. EDT)

Automaker News Never Ends

Were you overwhelmed by news on the auto sector today? Me too. Between the Chrysler bankruptcy protection announcement, the speculation over General Motors' ( GM) future, and word that automakers may be granted TARP access, it was a whirlwind day for the sector.

Unfortunately, it looks like the automakers will make headlines again Friday, as the monthly auto sales data for April will be released. In addition to Chrysler and GM, Ford ( F) and Toyota ( TM) will post monthly results.

If we're lucky, AutoNation ( AN) CEO Mike Jackson might make yet another appearance on CNBC. Only if we're lucky.

In its Thursday preview for April auto sales, Edmunds.com said the data may show that the auto industry in the U.S. is "picking up much-needed momentum."

April new-vehicle sales, including fleet sales, are expected to be 859,000 units, a 30.8% decrease from last April, Edmunds.com said, but a 0.5% increase sequentially.

Friday's Earnings & Economic Calendar

Friday will bring an end to a very busy earnings week for S&P 500 constituents. Chevron ( CVX), MasterCard ( MA), Clorox ( CL) and Dean Foods ( DF), among others, will report before Friday's opening bell.

Traders will also be sifting through earnings reports delivered after Thursday's closing bell, including Hartford Financial ( HIG), Monster Worldwide ( MWW) and DryShips ( DRYS), among others.

The economic calendar is equally packed, with reports on factory orders from March, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for April, and the University of Michigan's revised read on consumer sentiment for April all set to land.

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