The specter of interest rates looms large this morning, as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan takes center stage shortly after the opening bell to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the economy and monetary policy.

The appearance, casually known as

Humphrey-Hawkins, is traditionally among the most important speeches given by the Fed chairman. Wall Street will hold its breath until Al has spoken and investors are tipped off as to whether the

Federal Open Market Committee will raise the

fed funds rate for a seventh time next month. For more on today's testimony, take a look at

TSC's

earlier

story.

Waiting in the wings are several earnings reports. Among the tech names scheduled to report are ISP heavyweight

America Online

(AOL)

and software giant

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

.

Expected Earnings Reports

This table includes S&P 500 companies only. Dates are as expected according to First Call/Thomson Financial, and may change. The full week's earnings calendar is published separately.

Economic Data

(

Forecasts are from

Reuters

. Times are Eastern. For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see

TSC's

Economic Databank.

)

  • 8:30 a.m.: Housing starts for June. Source: Census Bureau. Forecast: $1.547 million. Previous: $1.592 million.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Initial jobless claims for the week ended Saturday. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: N/A. Previous: 319,000. Also includes the four-week average. Forecast: N/A. Previous: 305,500
  • 10 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed Index for July. Source: Philadelphia Fed . Forecast: 6.0. Previous: 1.7.
  • 11 a.m.: Treasury buyback. Source: Treasury Department. The Treasury buys securities specified yesterday from dealers.

Speeches and Testimony

  • 10 a.m.: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on the economy and monetary policy, an appearance formerly known as Humphrey-Hawkins.