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Stocks: Government shutdown, Fed timing looms large

Stocks: Government shutdown, Fed timing looms large
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POSTED: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 7:04pm

Uncertainty continues to loom large over the stock market.

Investors have a list of unanswered questions weighing on them. When will the Federal Reserve finally begin cutting back on its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program? Will the U.S. government shut down on Oct. 1 or default on its debt?

These unknowns spooked investors towards the end of last week, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 180 points on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed down 0.4% and 0.7% respectively. However, despite Friday's sell-off, stocks ended the week up between 0.5% and 1.3%.

Answers on the economy: Investors will get a feel for the strength of the U.S. economic recovery via several key reports due out throughout the week.

The third estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, is due out on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com are expecting that GDP rose at a 2.5% annual rate from April through June, unchanged from the second estimate released last month.

There will also be a smattering of reports on the housing market, including Case-Shiller's 20-city index, FHFA housing price index and new home sales.

How consumers are feeling about the economy will also be in play, with reports on consumer confidence, personal income and spending and Michigan sentiment on tap.

Blackberry's woes get real: Ailing smartphone maker Blackberry will once again be in the spotlight this week when it releases second-quarter earnings on Friday. The company warned last week that it will report a loss of nearly $1 billion for the second quarter and slash 40% of its global workforce. 

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