The day ahead: Thursday


Consumer spending is in the spotlight with U.S. auto sales and personal income and outlays data expected.

*  Auto sales probably fell in September back to the nearly three-decade lows of early 2009 without government incentives to spur buying.

*  Data on personal spending is due. Economists estimated that U.S. personal income rose just 0.1 percent in August after being flat in July and that personal spending jumped 1.1 percent after a 0.2 percent July increase.

*  Additional data includes: pending home sales, ISM manufacturing index and initial jobless claims.