The prevailing trend in U.S. stocks could be higher next week if investor anxiety eases over the crisis in Ukraine and signs of weakness in the U.S. economy. Investors will watch for further signs that poor weather may have played a role in recent weak economic data and dampening profit outlooks, which would underscore views that setbacks may be temporary. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments this week, which raised the possibility of an earlier-than-expected increase in interest rates, added another element of interest to the data. Reports on U.S. consumer confidence and sentiment are due next week, along with data on new home sales and orders for durable goods.
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