The best investors can hope for these days is a chaotic market -- at least, if "all over the place" seems preferable to "all down."
As the financial services, homebuilding and auto sectors bleed at a frightening pace, it's up to groups such as energy and technology to keep the markets on an even keel with second-quarter earnings and beyond.
The week ahead is chock-full of events in all corners of economics and finance, and experts are preparing for loads of volatility.
The markets will continue to watch the situation with Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), which spiraled downward last week after market observers became concerned that the government would have to bail out the two companies. Speculation is raging about how dire their situations are, but government officials continue to maintain that the agencies are still financially healthy.Oil, once again, is also going to be in focus after it ended last week in the mid-$140s. Tensions between Iran and Israel won't help, either, as the situation threatens to plunge the oil-rich Middle East into greater-than-usual turmoil. "It's our expectation that oil will press higher. We have it at about $160 at the end of the year, until we get some sense of slowing international demand," says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at Global Insight.