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What To Expect In The Week Ahead

It may be another wild week for stock market players as Wall Street turns its attention to the economy reports CBS MarketWatch Correspondent Stacey Tisdale.

Center stage will be the consumer. Thursday we get the latest data on retail sales.

It's always a big number for Wall Street and policy makers at the federal reserve because consumer spending makes up two thirds of total economic growth.

"Chairman Greenspan says it's very important to watch final demand in the economy, that retail spending is exactly that," stated CS First Boston Chief-Market-Strategist Matthew Alexy.

Inflation will also be in the spotlight.The Producer Price Index comes out on Friday.

"Inflation remains very low, especially at the commodity level. The Producer Price Index, tells us about commodity prices."

Analysts expect the producer price index to show commodity prices are stable or moving lower. If it shows they are moving significantly higher, they say the markets will go into a tailspin.

Other highlights on the U.S economic calendar include Friday's look at U.S. Factories: Industrial Production is due out as is Capacity Utilization, a measure of factory efficiency.

Ralph Acampora, an analyst whose call for a market correction last Tuesday helped spark a 300 point sell off in the DOW told CBS MarketWatch it's not only the economic data that may roil the markets.

"You're talking about the problems in the White House, you're talking about some of the concerns in Asia. I think the problems with those things will cause uncertainty, and that's exactly what the market doesn't like."

Written By CBS MarketWatch Correspondent Stacey Tisdale