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Traders might not have much besides their nerves to guide their buying and selling decisions Friday, as the earnings schedule is light and the economic calendar is manageable.

Not that you're likely to hear many complaints, considering this week's subprime scariness, the latest missives from Ben Bernanke & Co., historic weakness in the dollar and a continuing run-up in commodities. Then there's been that small matter of the extreme volatility in the stock market.

The earnings docket features names like

Fannie Mae

( FNM),




JA Solar




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Six Flags

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Station Casinos

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, but otherwise few companies of note.

As for the economic lineup, the import price index from the Labor Department, international trade data from the Commerce Department, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index and the Economic Cycle Research Institute's weekly leading index are due.


, check back early for the latest version of the popular column "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week."

Also, Nick Yulico reports that vulture investors are swooping in to scoop up builders' land at fire-sale prices, and he'll explain what this means for the struggling housing sector.

And if you think Fred Thompson, the actor-senator, has a chance to win the White House, think again. Brett Arends will examine why the smart money is betting elsewhere.