FOMC Meeting Highlight of Week Ahead

As investors head into the new week, policy makers will be gathering for a two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke taking center stage. The outcome of decisions made at this meeting will lay a number of points of speculation to rest, including whether further quantitative easing measures will be put in place – or a modified version of this strategy, being referred to as the twist, in which the Fed manipulates the yield curve by selling short-terms bonds, and buying long-term securities, thereby raising short rates and lowering long term rates.

Corporate companies publishing results in the upcoming week include Lennar (NYSE:LEN) on Monday; AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) on Tuesday; General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) on Wednesday; FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), and Nike (NYSE:NKE) on Thursday; and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) on Friday.

Potentially market moving reports for Monday include the housing affordability index from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. Tuesday sees the first session of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and housing starts and building permits released by the Commerce Department. The index of mortgage applications for week ended 17 September from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will come through on Wednesday, with existing home sales data due from the National Association of Realtors due the same day. Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims data from the Labor Department, while the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will release its home price index for July.