US Job Market, Europe Crisis, Earnings of Interest in Week Ahead

In the US, the Federal Reserve will hold a two-day meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, with interest rates being one of the issues to be addressed. Although it is anticipated that interest rates will hold steady, the meeting will assess the health of the US economy, which may either put fears of a recession to rest, or stir up more anxiety. Moreover, investors will be keen to find out if the Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke will make any announcements regarding the possibility of a third spate of bond buying by the government, dubbed QE3, to assist in stimulating the economy. However, if the outlook on the US economy is positive, no matter how slow signs of recovery may be, analysts believe it is unlikely that US authorities will step in with any further intervention.

With the unemployment rate sitting at more than 9 percent since May 2009, the biggest hindrance to economic recovery remains the lack of job opportunities. Friday sees the release of the jobs report, with analysts expecting the unemployment rate to remain at 9.1 percent. Should the jobs report be worse than anticipated, analysts say it could impact negatively on markets and add to fears of another recession. As the final week for reporting of third quarter results, investors can expect reports from News Corp., Starbucks, Mastercard, Time Warner, and Pfizer along with more than 100 S&P 500 companies.