This week as we officially head into autumn, various Congressional bodies hold hearings on items that loom large on the President's domestic agenda, like healthcare reform and even financial services reform. But the big market-moving news during the week is likely to come from two meetings.
The first is the Fed Open Market Committee, which meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 22 and 23, in Washington. Last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at the Brookings Institution and, in an address that looked back over the past tumultuous year, suggested that the recession in the U.S. was "very likely over."
An interesting OpEd in the Sunday New York Times addresses those comments, the Fed's role in the financial crisis, and suggests how regulatory reform should be shaped
The second big meeting is that of the G-20 nations in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday, September 24 and 25. The United States is pushing a plan to help stimulate growth worldwide (to register for a Webinar on Brookings' take on the meeting, click here).
Those meetings might well have an effect on whether the market continues to surge: the Dow industrials closed on Friday, September 19, at 9,820.02, up 12% for the year and up 46% since the Dow's 12-year low of 6,547.05 on March 9, Will the Dow reach 10,000 this week, and will it stay there? Brett Arends from the Wall Street Journal thinks it's no big deal either way.
Meanwhile in Washington, the House Financial Services Committee holds hearings on overall financial regulatory reform on the 23d, the Capital Markets subcommittee on the 24th on securitization, the full committee on systemic risk, also on the 24th, and the Federal Reserve on the 25th.
The Senate Finance Committee of Sen. Max Baucus holds a hearing on healthcare reform on September 22; you might want to read The Economist's take on Senator Baucus's reform bill introduced on September 16.