In the U.S. on Tuesday morning, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee to discuss the economy and recent monetary policy.
Jobs growth will remain on center stage in the week ahead. On Friday the government will release September's nonfarm payrolls data, along with the most recent unemployment rate, hourly earnings, and the average work week. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 9.1% with very little net gain in the real employment data.
Although earnings season doesn't really kick off until next week with the release of Alcoa's quarterly earnings, there are still a few names to keep an eye on this week. They include Yum Brands (YUM) on Tuesday; Costo (COST), Marriott Intl. (MAR), and Monsanto (MON) on Wednesday; and Constellation Brands (STZ) on Thursday.
S&P 500 (Figure 2)
Although the day ended with the markets sharply lower, Monday's data offered a glimmer of hope that pushed prices higher intraday with a strong, albeit short-lived, burst of buying. The index futures had sold off ahead of Monday and the market opened trade with a gap to the downside in the three major indices. This gap closed, however, following the release of September's manufacturing reading by the Institute for Supply Management. The index rose from 50.6 in August to 51.6, whereas economists had been expecting it to edge lower. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion and September marks the 26th straight month that it has managed to hold above that level.