Patti Domm is CNBC executive news editor, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy. Prior to joining CNBC in 1999 as senior news editor, Domm was the equities editor for the Americas at Reuters. She was also Wall Street editor at Reuters, reporting on mergers, acquisitions and the Street. She also edited three CNBC books on personal investing. Domm serves on the board of the Financial Womens Association of New York.
Weekly jobless claims are a big item for markets Thursday, but the earnings of retailers could ring up some early signals about the holiday season. Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. retailer, reports third quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell, as does department store chain Kohl's.
It's been awhile since holiday shopping has been such a wild card for the economy. Wednesday kicks off the batch of major retail earnings, when Macy's reports ahead of the opening bell.
It's "risk on" in global markets, a trend traders say could help keep stocks heading higher for now.
Stocks could side step temporarily as investors look for the next catalyst that will break the market out of its current range
Cisco could put a glow into tech stocks Thursday, but traders say the stock market could again be choppy.
Traders have been talking about the upcoming Fed statement for days now, because even a subtle tilt in the Fed's posture on interest rates could unhinge the popular "risk on" trade, where investors bet against the U.S. dollar and throw money into risky assets such as stocks and commodities.
Seesaw moves in the stock market have not discouraged some strategists who believe the market remains in an uptrend, despite near-term choppiness.
Brace for more volatility in the week ahead as investors wrestle with dual concerns that stocks have gotten too pricey and that the economic recovery is just too uncertain.
With the U.S. stock market in an extended funk, earnings offer at least a temporary escape route.
Bullish case made for oil's drop on fourth-quarter results.
Lower gas prices and better employment numbers could have been factors in better guidance from retailers.
The bond market seems to have heard a dovish undercurrent in the Fed minutes, while stock traders seem to think they got the Fed's message right.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC
Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.