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Mortgage Mess: Weekend Reading

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Good Sunday afternoon, and welcome to another edition of Weekend Reading. First a look back at the week that just finished, then a look at the week ahead and, lastly, a summary of articles and research papers worth reading.

It was another positive week on the major equity markets. All three major U.S. indices ended higher, with the Nasdaq leading the way with 3.6% gain, the S&P 500 up 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.5%. Tech was a primary catalyst, with earnings outperformance from companies like Google (GOOG) taking stock markets higher. But the gains were fairly widespread -- outside of banks, that is. The mortgage fraud allegations continue to make this lifeless sector even more lifeless than usual.

Looking ahead to next week, all eyes are on the escalating mortgage mess. Left with the option of banking executives being either stupid or criminal, many investors are increasingly selecting "all of the above." This saga will grow louder in the coming week, with no good outcomes obvious.

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Turning to economic indicators, the Fed will issue its Beige Book review of economic indicators during the week. Everyone will be looking for hints about QE2, and widespread economic weakness will just reconfirm its likelihood.

As for earnings, next week will bring reports from beleaguered banks Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC).

Also on tap will be reports from tech heavyweight Apple (AAPL), Caterpillar (CAT) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
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