After taking a quick rest from the earnings release onslaught that deluged Wall Street over the past few weeks, investors will fixate on several key economic reports from the government.
The forecasting begins on Tuesday, when economists comb through productivity data for the second quarter for clues on the health of the economy. On Friday, Wall Street will also scrutinize the Producer Price Index for the month of July for creeping signs of inflation in the economy.
Lastly, tech bellwether and telecom equipment giant Cisco Systems reports earnings on Tuesday. According to First Call, analysts expect a profit of 2 cents for the fourth fiscal quarter, compared with 16 cents for the same quarter a year ago.
Other events scheduled this week:
Monday, Aug. 6
- WebSec 2001 takes place at the Hilton Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 6-8. The conference will address Internet security issues as they relate to businesses and institutions, and features workshops and presentations by industry professionals.
- The Information Systems Audit and Control Association will also conduct a network security conference at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, Aug. 6-8. Network managers can take classes and hear presentations on how to defend against security attacks.
- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray will host a conference on technology and communications at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, Aug. 7-9. The event will include presentations by top executives from Redback Networks, Proxim, ADC Telecommunications, ONI Systems, Conexant Systems, Palm and Level 3 Communications. The keynote address will be made by either Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio or COO Afshin Mohebbi.
- CIBC World Markets will sponsor a conference on computer security and privacy at the New York Plaza Hotel in New York, Aug. 7. Presenting companies include Symantec, BMC Software, Check Point Software Technologies, RSA Security, and Websense.
- Jupiter Media Metrix will conduct a conference on online advertising at the Hilton Hotel in New York, Aug. 7-9. The event will focus on issues facing Internet advertisers and touch on subjects like e-mail marketing, cross-channel campaigns, branding and performance-based marketing. Keynote speakers include DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan, Goto.com CEO Ted Meisel, and Shelby Bonnie, the CEO of CNET Networks, which is the publisher of News.com.
- Active Communications will kick off the In-Building DSL conference at the Sheraton Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Aug. 8-9. The event will address the expanding DSL (digital subscriber line) market and the benefits of installing the service in buildings like hotels and office buildings that house many tenants.
- Market Access International will hold a class on network security on Aug. 8 at Federal Network Systems in Columbia, Md. The class is primarily for IT professionals and network managers in government and the private sector who wish to learn more about defending their computer networks from hackers and other threats.
- The e-Business World Expo takes place at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Aug. 8-9. The event is for business executives who wish to learn about how to expand their companies' e-business initiatives. Keynote speakers include executives from Symantec, Akamai Technologies, and IBM Global Services.
- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Intel Chairman Andy Grove will host an invitation-only party and panel at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., at 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 to celebrate and reflect on the 20th birthday of the PC.
- Breakfast Network Productions will host a morning panel on multi-tasking at the Friar's Club in New York at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 9. The event will address how to thrive in the work culture of the information economy, which compels people to juggle more responsibilities on the job.
Tuesday, Aug. 7
- Cisco Systems makes telecom and networking equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 2 cents.
- Emulex makes network server equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 10 cents.
- Focal Communications is a start-up telecom carrier that offers voice and Internet services. Per-share consensus estimate for the second quarter: loss of 67 cents.
- OmniSky operates a network that provides Internet access for wireless handheld computers. Per-share consensus estimate for the second quarter: loss of 63 cents.
- TMP Worldwide runs the job search Web site Monster.com. Per-share consensus estimate for the second quarter: profit of 30 cents.
- Genuity provides Internet and telecom services to businesses in data transport, Web hosting and Internet access. Per-share consensus estimate for the second quarter: loss of 32 cents.
- WebMD operates a series of Web sites focused on the healthcare industry. Per-share consensus estimate for the second quarter: loss of 7 cents.
Tuesday, Aug. 7
- Quarterly productivity figures from the Labor Department refer to the quantity of goods and services produced relative to the costs of labor and capital used in the process, and basically provides a view of economy's efficiency. Economists expect this closely watched figure to climb 1.7 percent for the second quarter compared to the first quarter's drop of 1.2 percent.
- The Consumer Credit report by the Federal Reserve shows the monthly debt assumed by consumers for purposes other than home mortgages. Consumer debt for the month of June is expected to increase to $8.4 billion from $6.5 billion in May.
- Wholesale Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in wholesale inventories in the United States. No estimates were available for June, but inventories rose 0.2 percent in May from the previous month and were up 2.3 percent from May 2000.
- Initial Claimsrefers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week of Aug 4.
- The monthlyimport and export price index from the Department of Labor indicates the percentage change in import and export prices. No estimates were available, but in July, import prices, excluding oil, fell 0.4 percent from the previous month. Export prices, excluding agriculture, dropped 0.2 percent.
- The Producer Price Index is expected to fall 0.2 percent in July from June's drop of 0.4 percent. Economists expect the core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, to rise 0.1 percent from the previous month's increase of 0.1 percent. This Labor Department index tracks the cost of what manufacturers pay for raw goods to make products.