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The Week Ahead: April 27-May 1

KEY EVENT: Cold facts. With ice and snow blanketing much of the country for the first three months of the year, estimates for economic growth have been dropping. The guesstimates are replaced by hard numbers on Wednesday, when the Commerce Department releases first-quarter GDP, an accounting of all goods and services produced in the United States.

MONDAY: A week filled with important corporate earnings releases begins with perhaps the most significant: Apple reports first-quarter sales.

TUESDAY: Case-Shiller home prices for February. Earnings: Carle Place gift seller, Merck, Twitter, UPS.

WEDNESDAY: The Federal Reserve releases an update on monetary policy. Most economists expect the central bank will maintain its current near-zero interest-rate strategy. Also, the National Association of Realtors posts pending home sales for March. Earnings: Westbury financial company New York Community Bancorp, MasterCard, Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Time Warner.

THURSDAY: Jobless benefits claims for the week ended April 25 from the Labor Department. Also, personal income and spending for March from the Commerce Department. Earnings: Arrow Electronics, Exxon Mobil, Time Warner Cable, Visa, Viacom.

FRIDAY: Carmakers post April auto sales. Earnings: Uniondale commercial real estate investor Arbor Realty Trust.


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