After a long weekend, Wall Street traders will return Tuesday to the first of several economic reports that could derail the market's recent uptick.
This "is a big week for economic reports, and that is going to be the driver for the market," said Christopher Johnson, director of quantitative analysis at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "It'll be one of those weeks where one number could throw a wrench in the works."
On Tuesday, the Conference Board releases the May consumer confidence index. Analysts expect the index to fall to 96.5, from 97.7 in April.
On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index, which measures the strength of the industrial sector. It is expected to fall to 52.2, down from 53.3 in April, a reflection of higher raw material prices.
On Friday, the Labor Department reports on the number of jobs created in May, a figure likely to set the tone for much of the month's trading.
Analysts expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.2%, with 180,000 net jobs created -- a good showing, but less than the surprisingly strong 274,000 jobs reported in April. That report, released May 6, set off worries that strong job growth would lead to higher consumer demand and, in turn, inflation, and that roiled the markets and left stocks mixed for the session. A middle-of-the-road report is likely to get the best reaction on Wall Street.
"The biggie ... will be the unemployment data," said Al Goldman, chief market strategist at A.G. Edwards & Sons.
Last week a strong GDP report helped Wall Street overcome worries about economic expansion and paved the way for a second straight week of gains. For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.7%, the Standard & Poor's 500 index added 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.4%.
From Times Wire Services
The Week Ahead
* Conference Board issues its consumer confidence index for May.
* Jurors to begin deliberating in the case of two former top executives at Tyco International Ltd. accused of stealing $170 million by hiding unauthorized salary and bonuses and by abusing company loan programs.
* Institute for Supply Management issues its report on activity in the manufacturing sector during May.
* Commerce Department reports on construction spending for April.
* Automakers release sales figures for May.
* Sentencing for John and Timothy Rigas, convicted in the Adelphia Communications Corp. fraud trial last summer.
* Nation's largest retailers announce sales figures for May.
* Labor Department reports on weekly jobless claims.
* Commerce Department reports on factory orders for April.
* Institute for Supply Management issues its report on activity in the service economy during May.
* Labor Department reports on employment for May.