In a holiday-shortened week, investors will be watching comments from Federal Reserve representatives and data from several economic releases that could help show whether inflation is likely to continue its downward path.  Markets are closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth national holiday. The housing market will come into better focus with the release of data on existing home sales, housing starts, and homebuilder confidence, parallel with earnings reports from builders Lennar (LEN) and KB Home (KBH). Grocery store chain Kroger (KR) will also report this week as it continues to work toward approval of its merger with Albertsons (ACI).

Fed Speakers Lead Week That Includes Retail Sales Data, PMI
Following the most recent interest rate decision, investors will hear from Federal Reserve officials throughout the week on the state of economic conditions, the progress on inflation, and the path of interest rates. Investors will be closely analyzing the Fed representatives’ remarks on inflation reports released last week showing prices trending lower again, potentially putting the Fed in a position to begin cutting interest rates. Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker, Dallas Fed President Lorie K. Logan, Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, Kansas City Fed President Alberto Musalem, and Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee are all on the speaking calendar this week.

Housing Data, Builder Earnings Offer Look at Real Estate Sector
The housing market will come into clearer focus this week with the release of several economic indicators, including data on home builder confidence on Wednesday, housing starts on Thursday, and existing home sales on Friday. Investors will also get a look at the strength of housing construction on Tuesday when home builders Lennar and KB Home report earnings. High mortgage rates have affected their sales, with KB Home reporting declining sales and profits earlier this year.

Accenture, Kroger on Earnings Calendar
A few companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results amid a light week on the earnings calendar. Consulting firm Accenture is set to report its earnings after it lowered its guidance last quarter. The company continues to highlight its effort to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into its products. Investors also will be watching the latest financial report from Kroger, which posted strong results last quarter despite government regulators moving to restrict its proposed merger with Albertsons.  CarMax’s report on Friday will offer insight into the retail auto market in the U.S.