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The Week Ahead, March 24-28

KEY EVENT: Trending up. The local employment picture continued to show improvement in January as Long Island employers added jobs for the 37th consecutive month, the longest streak in at least 25 years. On Thursday the State Labor Department releases February Long Island jobs data, and with national employment perking up last month, local job growth is likely to continue.

MONDAY: Earnings from drive-in restaurant chain Sonic.

TUESDAY: Three closely watched housing reports: Case-Shiller home prices for January, new-home sales for February from the Commerce Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's single-family home prices for January. Also, consumer confidence for March from the Conference Board.

WEDNESDAY: The Commerce Department releases February durable goods, an update on orders for high-priced, long-lasting items such as refrigerators, cars, computers and TVs.

THURSDAY: Pending home sales for February from the National Association of Realtors. Also, claims for jobless benefits for the week ended March 22 from the U.S. Labor Department. And the Commerce Department posts its third and final accounting of fourth-quarter GDP.

FRIDAY: Personal income and spending for February from the Commerce Department. Also, the University of Michigan posts consumer confidence for March.

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