The week ahead: Reading economic signs

Investors will be watching for key economic data this week that will offer clues to the way the economy is headed.

5 min read
Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of June 11 through June 15.

Investors will be watching for key economic data this week that will offer clues to the way the economy is headed, particularly from the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index.

Wall Street has already seen signs that the economy is sputtering. Growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, the measure of the value of all goods and services in the economy, recently was revised downward to growth of 1.3 percent from previous figures of 2 percent growth.

Worker productivity in the first quarter also was revised, to a drop of 1.3 percent vs. Wall Street expectations of a 0.7 percent decline. Productivity grew 4.3 percent last year.

On the earnings front, beleaguered Internet company CMGI and its operating companies Navisite and Engage will report earnings this week. Analysts are expecting losses from Navisite and Engage; no one posted estimates on what CMGI will do, according to First Call.

Adobe Systems, the maker of popular Web publishing programs including Acrobat, Illustrator and PhotoShop, will also announce earnings. Wall Street expects the company to make 29 cents a share for the fiscal second quarter, down from 36 cents a year ago.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, June 11
  • CIBC World Markets will hold its Communications Food Chain Conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, June 11-13. Companies presenting will include Juniper Networks, JDS Uniphase and Level 3 Communications.

  • Business Communications review will hold its eBiz Networks conference in Burlingame, Calif., June 11-14. The event will focus on ways businesses can expand online. Keynote speakers will include CacheFlow CEO Brian NeSmith.

  • The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance will hold GlobeTech in Ottawa, Canada, June 11-12. The event is for professionals in the high-tech industry to network and acquire financing. Keynote speakers will include Jim Balsillie, CEO of Research In Motion.

  • The National Cable & Telecommunications Association kicks off Cable2001 in Chicago, June 10-13. Featured speakers will include Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin.

  • Forrester Research will hold a finance forum titled "Prospering Within eBusiness Networks" in New York, June 10-12. The event is for senior-level finance executives who wish to learn about doing business on the Internet through alliances. Featured speakers will include John Boogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, and Frank Petrilli, president and COO of TD Waterhouse Group.

  • The Embedded Processor Forum will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., June 11-15. Chip companies exhibiting products will include Altera, PMC-Sierra and Hitachi Semiconductor.

  • The OpenView 2001 conference will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, June 11-15, to discuss Hewlett-Packard's management software.

  • Network Storage 2001 will take place in Monterey, Calif., June 11-14. The event will focus on technology and trends happening within the computer data-storage industry. Featured panelists will include Veritas Software Chairman Mark Leslie and Seagate Technology CEO Stephen Luczo.

Tuesday, June 12

  • Investment bank Bear Sterns will hold a technology conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York, June 12-14. The event will cover topics such as data storage, communications networks, Internet security, handsets and handheld devices, and software. Keynote speakers will include Palm CEO Carl Yankowski, Sun Microsystems Chief Scientist Bill Joy and EMC CEO Mike Ruettgers.

Wednesday, June 13

  • Active Communications International will hold an optical networking conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, June 13-14. The event will focus on telecom equipment for communications networks in urban areas. Presenting companies will include Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Corning, AT&T and Riverstone Networks.

  • Wireless 2001 will take place in New York, June 13-14. The event will focus on the technologies and issues related to the development of the wireless industry.


Monday, June 11

  • Engage makes software that helps advertisers create Internet user profiles to help formulate more targeted ad campaigns. Per-share estimate for the fiscal third quarter: loss of 15 cents.

  • Navisite provides outsourced Web hosting and application services to business clients. Per-share estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 57 cents.

  • Infonet offers data transmission services to global corporations over its own network. Per-share estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 2 cents.

Tuesday, June 12
  • CMGI owns and operates Internet businesses including Engage and Navisite. No estimates were available.

  • Loudcloud offers services like e-mail to Web sites to help them operate. Per-share estimate for the fiscal first quarter: loss of $1.21.

Thursday, June 14
  • Adobe Systems makes desktop publishing software. Per-share estimate for the fiscal second quarter: profit of 29 cents.

  • Net2Phone offers customers the ability to make phone calls over the Internet. Per-share estimates for the fiscal third quarter: loss of 44 cents.

Economic Reports

Wednesday, June 13

  • The import and export price index from the Department of Commerce indicates the percentage change in import and export prices for May. No estimates were available, but in April, import prices, excluding oil, fell 0.5 percent from the previous month. Export prices, excluding agriculture, did not change.

  • The Commerce Department reports retail sales for the month of May, an important indicator since consumer spending plays a key role in the strength of the economy. Economists expect sales to climb 0.3 percent from April, and 0.4 percent excluding automobile sales.

Thursday, June 14
  • Initial Claims refers 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 June 9, and analysts expect 425,000 people to file for assistance compared with 432,000 the week before.

  • Business Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in inventory in the United States as reported by the Department of Commerce. Wall Street predicts this number will fall 0.1 percent in April vs. a 0.3 percent drop in March.

  • The Producer Price Index is expected to rise 0.3 percent in May from last month's 0.3 percent increase. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to climb 0.2 percent compared with the previous month's gain of 0.2 percent. This Labor Department index tracks the cost of what manufacturers pay for raw goods to make products.

Friday, June 15
  • The Consumer Price Index is expected to rise 0.4 percent in May from the previous month's hike of 0.3 percent. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to rise 0.2 percent from April's 0.2 percent increase. This Labor Department index tracks the change in prices at the consumer level, which economists watch closely for signs of inflation.

  • Industrial Production represents the monthly percentage change in industrial output as measured by the Federal Reserve. The number measures the physical quantity of items produced, unlike sales value, which combines quantity and price. The number is expected to fall 0.3 percent for the month of May compared with last month's drop of 0.3 percent.

  • The monthly Capacity Utilization report from the Federal Reserve indicates the percentage of industrial capacity in use. Wall Street expects the number to fall to 78 percent in May from the previous month's 78.5 percent.