March 21, 2012 at 7:55 AM ET
How’s the housing market doing? Investors will get a key reading of the real estate market early Wednesday, and that report could determine the path of stocks for the remainder of the day.
The National Association of Realtors’ existing home sales for February, due at 10 a.m. ET, is a key piece of data used to determine how the economy is faring. The report follows figures on Tuesday showing a slight rise in new housing starts. Some analysts say sales of previously owned homes probably rose to the highest level in almost two years last month.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is expected to tell lawmakers that Europe must fortify its banks further and that its financial and economic situation is still “difficult,” according to a prepared testimony.
Europe must also act to “increase economic growth and competitiveness and to reduce external imbalances in the troubled countries,” Bernanke will tell the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Wall Street is currently poised for a higher open, with Dow Jones industrial futures up 0.4 percent at 13,154. S&P 500 futures are also up 0.4 percent, at 1,405.
Reuters contributed to this report.