Stock futures slightly higher as investors await fresh economic data

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Stocks are expected to open modestly higher on Wall Street after a losing week last week. On Friday, stocks fell for the third straight day after reports on new-home sales and durable goods proved weaker than expected, leading investors to believe the economy has not yet emerged from the recession.

Plenty more economic data are due this week, including key reports on home prices, consumer confidence, personal income and spending, and Friday's much anticipated employment report. Analysts expect September's job numbers will show the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, up from 9.7 percent in August.

In addition to the Conference Board's latest take on consumer confidence, Tuesday brings the fresh numbers from the Case-Shiller Housing Price index.

On Wednesday, the federal government issues its final reading on second-quarter economic growth. Analysts expect the Commerce Department will report the economy shrank by -1.2 percent in the three months that ended June, compared to a previous reading of -1 percent.

Thursday brings a bevy of fresh data. In addition to new numbers on personal income and spending, from the Commerce Department, reports on construction spending, pending home sales, car and truck sales and initial claims for unemployment are due.

On Friday, the latest numbers on factory orders will be released, along with September's jobs report from the Labor Department.
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