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Key events and data to look out for on Thursday.
With little else to sway it, the stock market should continue to trade quietly ahead of the Fed's Wednesday afternoon statement.
People are now stuck in traffic longer, less apt to move away and more inclined to put off marriage and buying a house because of the recession, a broad survey showed.
The Fed's two-day meeting starts in Washington Tuesday, as President Obama and other world leaders gather in New York. Traders are watching both, as well as the meeting of G-20 leaders in Pittsburgh later in the week
Stocks have gone too far too fast and are due for a retreat in an economy that will grow slowly, Pimco's Bill Gross said on CNBC.
Despite predictions the Great Recession is running out of steam, the House is taking up emergency legislation this week to help the millions of Americans who see no immediate end to their economic miseries.
The trend for stocks continues to point up and could stay that way through the end of September, even if there are some choppy days.
Unemployment rose in August in 27 states and the District of Columbia, with joblessness in three states—California, Nevada, and Rhode Island—reaching record highs, the Labor Department said.
The stock market took a rest Thursday, signaling traders that it may be getting ready to shake off some recent gains.
Rising stock prices are acting as a powerful magnet, prying loose fresh cash and drawing it into a market that's 58 percent above its March lows.
Wall Street's bulls are convinced there is enough good news to graze on for a while longer.
Cash-for-clunkers may have pushed retail sales higher, but the road to recovery is likely be a bumpy one, say economists.
The economy faces a big test next month when the government starts winding down its massive support programs, banking analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.
"The V-shaped recovery just got a badly needed shot in the arm today as the consumer is back in the game in a big way," said economist Chris Rupkey.
Even if Lehman Brothers were saved last September, another financial institution would have failed and set off the same global economic crisis that has plagued international markets for the last year, the European Central Bank President told CNBC.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered a spirited defense of the government's efforts to forestall another Great Depression but cautioned that the recovery would be slow and painful.
The collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac one year ago was the result of bad government policy that took too long be corrected, Jim Lockhart, the GSE's former regulator, told CNBC.
Despite the nation's highest jobless rate in 26 years, American workers are seeing some encouraging trends this Labor Day, according to a report released Monday by Rutgers University.
August unemployment data were released this morning and the numbers were not as bad as expected. The rate of job losses is slowing, and some economists think that the rate of jobs lost should reach zero sometime around year end with job growth returning in early 2010.
The unemployment numbers were disappointing at face value, but overall, economic data has been consistently building a foundation for recovery, said Robert Keiser, Standard & Poor's senior director.