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PREVIEW

Telecom, Media, Energy Giants' Earnings to Be Weighed

April 23, 2001

The U.S. financial community will be scrutinizing earnings this week from telecommunications bellwethers AT&T Corp. and WorldCom Inc. as well as media giant Viacom Inc. and energy companies Halliburton Co. and Chevron Corp. They also will keep an eye on a slew of government data for an indication of whether the Federal Reserve will be prompted to slash rates again at its May 15 meeting, and if so, by how much. Reports this week include the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence for April, set for release Tuesday. Also coming this week, on Friday, are figures for the first quarter's gross domestic product, a tally of all the goods and services produced in the U.S. GDP grew 1% in the fourth quarter of 2000, which was the weakest in more than five years. (Reuters, Bloomberg News)

Other economic data coming this week:

* Wednesday, the Commerce Department and the National Assn. of Realtors will report on sales of newly built homes and home resales for April, respectively.

* Wednesday, the Commerce Department will report on March factory orders for durable goods, which are big-ticket items ranging from aircraft to home appliances.

* Thursday, the Labor Department will issue the employment cost index for the first quarter, a gauge of wage and benefit costs.

* Friday, the University of Michigan will issue its closely watched gauge of consumer sentiment for April.

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