Here Are The Key Market Moving Events For Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Construction Worker Hard Hat Bridge GermanyConstruciton workers in Europe install steel reinforcement rods in the final portion of the Unstrut Valley high-speed railway bridge. At 5:00 a.m., a reading of unemployment in Norway will be released.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Wednesday continues the week’s focus on housing data in the U.S., with existing home sales. Internationally, markets will be looking to Japan and the U.K. for other major data points. In earnings, expect announcements from General Mills and Discover Financial. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Australia starts things off at 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday evening with a reading of Westpac leading indicators for January. There is no consensus estimate for the release, which last increased 50 basis points.
  • Announcements go quiet until 12:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning, with the release of the All Industry Activity Index in Japan. Economists forecast the key index will decline 0.7 per cent in January. 
  • Austrian producer prices follow at 4:10 a.m. EST, which last declined 0.5 per cent sequentially in December. 
  • Norwegian unemployment will be announced at 5:00 a.m. EST, with expectations for the jobless rate to remain flat at 3.3 per cent in January.
  • At 5:30 a.m. EST, a series of British announcements are set for release, including public sector net borrowing and minutes from recent Bank of England meetings. Economists predict net borrowing will surge £5 billion in February, after falling £10.7 billion in January.
  • Attention shifts to North America at 8:30 a.m. EST with Canadian leading indicators. The main index is seen gaining 0.6 per cent in February, slightly slower than the 0.7 per cent advance last month. 
  • The major U.S. announcement of the day is existing home sales, at 10 a.m. EST. Expectations are for the annualized pace to grow 0.9 per cent in February to 4.61 million.

Below, the major earnings announcements scheduled for the day.

General Mills (GIS): $0.56
Sonic Corp (SONC): $0.02
Discover Financial Services (DFS): $0.92

Consensus estimates provided by Bloomberg.

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