Canadian housing starts and U.S. pending home sales will be the main highlights of the day's macroeconomic data releases, but comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaking on education and European Central Banker José Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo on the financial market turmoil should also garner some attention.

At 7:45 a.m. EDT, ICSC will release their retail sales report for the week ending Sept. 6. In the previous week, sales rose 2.2% year-over-year.

At 8:15 a.m. EDT, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will release housing starts for August, which are expected to rise to 191.0k compared to July's 186.5k level.

At 8:55 a.m. EDT, Redbook will release the retail sales report for the week ending Sept. 6. In the previous week, sales rose 2.3% year-over-year.

At 9 a.m. EDT, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak on education in Washington, D.C.

At the same time, European Central Bank Governing Council Member José Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo will speak on the financial market turmoil at an event in London.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the National Association of Realtors will release pending home sales for July in the United States. The consensus is expecting a 1.5% month-over-month decline following an increase of 5.3% in June.

Also at 10 a.m. EDT, Investor's Business Daily and the TechnoMetrica Institute will release their U.S. economic optimism index for September, which is expected to improve to a reading of 44.0 from August's 42.8 level.

Simultaneously, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release wholesale inventories for July, which are expected to expand by 0.7% month-over-month following a 1.1% increase in June.

At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release job openings and labour turnover for July. In June, job openings advanced 2.6% month-over-month.

At 1 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Treasury will sell $23 billion in four-week bills.

At 5 p.m. EDT, markets will receive ABC's consumer comfort index for the week ending Sept 7. In the previous week, the index stood at -47.

At 7:01 p.m. EDT, the National Institute for Economic Research will release the UK's GDP estimate for August. In July, the figure was up 0.1% month-over-month.

With OPEC meeting today and tomorrow, all eyes and ears are on anything coming out from Vienna regarding changes to crude oil output from the world's largest and most influential cartel.

8:15 CA Housing Starts August Exp: 191.0K Prior: 186.5K

9:00 US Bernanke Speaks on Education in Washington

9:00 EU ECB's Gonzalez Paramo Speaks on Financial Turmoil in London

10:00 US Job Openings and Labour Turnover July Prior: +2.6%

10:00 US Pending Home Sales (M/M) July Exp: -1.5% Prior: +5.3%

10:00 US IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism September Exp: 44.0 Prior: 42.8

10:00 US Wholesale Inventories July +0.7% Prior: +1.1%

13:00 US Treasury to Sell $23B 4-Week Bills

17:00 US ABC Consumer Confidence W/E September 7 Prior: -47

19:01 GB NIESR GDP Estimate August Prior: +0.1%

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Nancy Girgis
©CEP News Ltd. 2008