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GOLDMAN SACHS

Dec. 18, 8:30 a.m. EST - The investment bank issues fiscal-year results. Equity analysts have cut 2008 earnings forecasts for Goldman and other banks on expectations of less income from mergers and debt underwriting.

U.S. HOUSING STARTS

Dec. 18, 8:30 a.m. EST - Builders probably broke ground on fewer houses in November. Despite a 48% plunge in starts since early 2006, the number of unsold new homes is still very high.

ELECTRONICS RETAILERS

Dec. 18, 10 a.m. EST - Best Buy (BBY) leads off with third-quarter results, followed on Dec. 20 by Circuit City (CC). The stores are counting on flat-panel TVs, laptops, and digital cameras to deliver strong holiday sales.

SOUTH KOREA VOTES

Dec. 19 - Conservative party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak is the front-runner. If elected, he is expected to push for a more business-friendly regulatory environment and take a harder line with North Korea.

GERMAN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE

Dec. 19, 4 a.m. EST - Investors will watch the Ifo Institute for Economic Research's November report for signs that a strong euro and credit market jitters are sapping business confidence. Similar data in France and Italy are due on Dec. 21.

GENERAL MILLS

Dec. 19, 8:30 a.m. EST - The food company posts fiscal second-quarter results. To offset rising costs, it is selling smaller cereal boxes, resulting in a higher price per ounce.

ORACLE

Dec. 19, 4 p.m. EST - The enterprise software company presents fiscal second-quarter results. The company is on a roll with strong growth in new software licenses and shares up 25% so far this year.

JAPANESE EXPORTS

Dec. 19, 8:50 p.m. EST - The government puts out November foreign-trade figures. The report is not only a timely indicator for Japan's economy but also sheds some light on demand in the U.S.

BEAR STEARNS

Dec. 20, 8:30 a.m. EST - Wall Street is bracing for some red ink and the possibility of more bad subprime mortgage news when the bank reveals its fiscal year figures.

FEDEX

Dec. 20, 12 noon EST - Surging fuel prices and slower U.S. economic activity will weigh on the delivery company's fiscal second-quarter results. Both FedEx and rival UPS (UPS) are raising shipping rates for 2008 to help offset the higher costs.

MORE BLACKBERRYS

Dec. 20, 5 p.m. EST - Research In Motion (RIMM) posts third-quarter numbers. Analysts will be looking to see if the number of new users trumps the company's forecast of 1.65 million.

U.S. PERSONAL INCOME AND SPENDING

Dec. 21, 8:30 p.m. EST - Economists expect solid personal-income growth for November. The Bureau of Economic Analysis' figures on consumer spending should also look healthier after soft October results, especially for motor vehicles.


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