Construction of new homes continues to fall.
Construction of new homes fell for the third month in a row in May, weighing on economic growth and adding to a long-run shortage of houses for sale. How long can this last? Mortgage rates are low, job growth is charging ahead and household balance sheets are as strong as they’ve been in 15 years. The data on housing starts is notoriously choppy from month to month, but economists expect the June number to show an increase when it is released on Wednesday. If not then, then eventually: Construction seems poised to move upward this year, but it is likely to be a grind. Conor Dougherty
European Central Bank president to provide policy update.
Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, will have to watch his words even more carefully than usual when he holds a news conference on Thursday in Frankfurt after a meeting of the bank’s Governing Council on monetary policy. Recent weeks have shown that even a slight change in Mr. Draghi’s tone can unleash havoc in bond markets. Investors are hypersensitive to any signals about when the central bank will begin to reduce its stimulus to the eurozone economy, which is looking healthier than it has in a decade. Mr. Draghi will be walking a verbal tightrope as he tries to prepare markets for what is coming without provoking an overreaction. Jack Ewing
Cloud business fuels Microsoft revenue growth.
Cloud computing is likely to again be the preoccupation of investors when Microsoft reports financial results on Thursday. The company has come back into favor on Wall Street, sending its stock to new highs, as it has evolved into a credible No. 2 player behind Amazon in the cloud business. Double-digit revenue growth in Microsoft’s commercial cloud business is expected. The company may also see a lift in sales in hardware from new models in its Surface family of computers. Nick Wingfield
‘Game of Thrones’ front and center at Comic-Con.
It’s sunny and warm in California, but make no mistake: Winter is here. Comic-Con International opens on Thursday in San Diego, and for the first time, it coincides with a season of “Game of Thrones.” HBO is taking advantage of the timing, descending on the fan convention with a marketing onslaught, including a “winterized” journey through Westeros, a panel in the enormous Hall H, exclusive merchandise, wine and beer sampling and a cast appearance on “Conan” on TBS. USA Network will be on hand to promote “Mr. Robot” by unveiling a mystery to unravel and opening the Bank of E, which will give away cards loaded with cryptocurrency. Fans can also celebrate new beginnings at the Syfy Geek Love Chapel, where Orlando Jones will officiate weddings, or say farewell at a funeral procession for History’s “Vikings,” which wends its way to the waterfront, where a “corpse” will be placed on a 45-foot long ship and set ablaze at sundown for its journey to Valhalla. Gregory Schmidt
‘End of an era’ for departing G.E. chief.
General Electric reports its earnings on Friday with a different script than usual. Jeffrey R. Immelt, who was replaced as chief executive in June, will be making his last appearance in the quarterly ritual after 16 years. He will be joined by his replacement, John Flannery, who doesn’t formally take the top post until August. “There’s drama, and it’s the end of an era,” said Deane Dray, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Mr. Flannery is conducting a top-to-bottom review of G.E.’s many industrial businesses. The quarterly results may provide early clues to his plans for the company, which he will announce in the fall. Steve Lohr