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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Auto Sales, Real Estate Data in Focus

Aside from the continuing debate in the Senate on the $800 billion-plus stimulus bill, today we await several economic reports. None are expected to be too cheerful, but analysts will be waiting to see whether the numbers will beat expectations. First up is the health of the struggling real estate industry, which is at the heart of the current financial crisis. At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases data on pending home sales for the month of December. We also expect a report on housing vacancies.

Later on, automakers will release individual reports on U.S. vehicle sales for the month of January, which will provide some sense of consumer spending and also a hint of just how deeply the Big Three, in particular, have to climb out of the auto sales abyss. Just yesterday, Chrysler and General Motors announced new plans to offer buyouts to thousands of employees. For Chrysler UAW workers, this offer even comes with a $25,000 voucher towards a new Chrysler vehicle -- an opportunity to both shrink the payroll and inventory.

We'll cover all of the auto sales as they trickle out throughout the day right here.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  February 3, 2009; 6:55 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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