From Reuters.com

The day ahead: Friday

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Consumer spending and income data will be closely watched, along with a gauge of consumer sentiment, Tiffany results, and reaction to Apple’s new operating system.

*  July personal income and spending data will provide more clues on the likely durability of any economic recovery. Personal income probably rose  0.2 percent compared with a year earlier after a drop of 1.3 percent the previous month, according to Reuters polling.

*  All eyes in the retail world will be on high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co to see where the company stands with sales and its outlook for the upcoming holiday season, a critical selling period for jewelers.

*  Apple’s new operating system for Mac computers will go on sale, a bit earlier than expected, as the company looks to continue to expand its share of the PC market.

The day ahead: Thursday

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Offsetting upbeat economic data earlier in the week, investors brace for a revised down U.S. Q2 GDP number foretelling a lengthy and fragile economic recovery.

* The second reading of the U.S. Q2 GDP is expected to result in a downward revision to minus 1.5 percent on an inflation-adjusted annualized basis, compared with an original reading of minus 1.0 percent.

The day ahead

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Here’s what to expect on Reuters.com on Wednesday, Aug. 26:

Durable goods orders, new home sales data and earnings from Dollar Tree and Williams-Sonoma are among the highlights expected Wednesday.

* Orders for durable goods such as motor vehicles, aircraft and refrigerators probably rebounded in July, supporting views that the manufacturing sector is starting to heal.

Graphic: Michael Jackson’s death

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Pop star Michael Jackson died from a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol given in a cocktail of drugs, leading authorities to suspect his doctor of manslaughter, court documents showed on Monday.

Graphic: Hurricane Bill

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The day ahead: Friday

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Existing home sales data and a speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold the spotlight on Friday.

    Sales of existing homes probably rose to their highest level in 10 months in July, according to a Reuters poll, as buyers rushed to take advantage of a tax credit for first-time homeowners. Policy-makers from around the world are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s yearly conference. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke takes the podium at 10:00 a.m. EDT to share his thoughts on how sustainable the recent economic recovery is. GM’s board of directors is expected to address the sale of Opel and aims to recommend one of two competing bids for the German unit.

The day ahead: Thursday

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Investors’ attention will turn to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as policy-makers from around the world gather to talk about how to prevent another global financial crisis. Results from Gap and Sears are also expected.

    The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s yearly conference at a mountain retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, draws central bankers and top economists together as the current crisis appears to be easing. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on Friday. Gap’s results will show whether its focus on boosting margins, even as a widespread slump in consumer spending has cut into sales, has been successful. Eddie Lampert’s efforts to break Sears into five segments and taking his scattered approach to finding a format for growth will be on display when the retailer reports quarterly financials. August business activity and weekly employment data should reinforce investor expectations that the economy is on the mend.

The day ahead: Wednesday

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Light on economic data, investors will look to a smattering of quarterly results and the UBS tax case for direction. Below are the key points for the day:

    Deere & Co, the world’s largest maker of tractors and harvesters, reports second-quarter earnings. Results from rivals show farmers in North America holding back on equipment purchases despite strong crop prices because of economic uncertainty. Retailers reporting include warehouse club operator BJ’s Wholesale Club and specialty store operator Limited Brands, giving investors another cross-section view of the consumer’s willingness to open up her wallet. More details of a landmark settlement of the U.S. tax case against UBS could emerge, with the Swiss cabinet having held its first regular meeting following the summer recess, industry insiders said.

How has the credit crisis affected you?

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The demise of Lehman Brothers a year ago sparked a collapse in financial market confidence and set of a series of reactions that have spread hardship into the four corners of the globe.

Reuters News has charted the key events and their impact in “Times of Crisis” — a major new multimedia production on Reuters.com. (See it here.)

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