Day Ahead – Top 3 Things to Watch By

© Reuters. – Here are the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Housing Market, Consumer Sentiment Data in Focus

Housing market numbers are on the calendar for Friday, with many eager to see whether weakness in homebuilder activity will continue even as lower mortgage rates are supposed to support demand.

The Commerce Department will report on housing starts and building permits for June at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT).

Economists expect that to rise to an annual rate of 1.257 million last month, up from a reported 1.253 million starts in June.

an indication of future demand, are forecast to show an increase to a rate of 1.270 million, up from 1.22 million units in June. Homebuilder confidence has been high this year because of low rates, and stocks of home builders have been strong performers as well. The iShares US Home Construction (NYSE:) exchange-traded fund is up 29% this year.

Consumer sentiment data is also expected to be closely watched for an insight into the strength of the US consumer.

The University of Michigan’s , due at 10:00 am ET. is forecast to show a reading of 97.2, down from the last month’s reading of 98.4 while data will also be in focus.

2. Rig Counts on Tap

The weekly instalment of drilling activity from on Friday, will provide investors with clues on U.S. oil production, which remains close to record highs.

Data last week showed the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by 6 to 764.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

on Thursday settled 1.4% lower at $54.47 a barrel.

Oil prices fell further into the red on Thursday, following a 3% decline a day earlier as fears of a looming recession fuelled concerns about oil demand growth.

3. Deere Earnings Due

Agricultural-and-construction-equipment maker Deere & Company (NYSE:) reports earnings before markets open on Friday.

But the earnings report comes in the wake of a weaker farming backdrop, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this week raising its corn supply numbers, sending corn futures prices tumbling.

With farmers feeling the pinch from a decline in corn prices and ongoing U.S.-China trade war, major purchases of farming equipment may come under threat and muddy Deere’s guidance.

Deere, down 3.7% for the year, is expected to of $2.85 on revenue of $9.44 billion.

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