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While the Weather Turns Cooler, Wall Street Heats Up

<I>TSC</I> writers are ready to weigh in on AOL, IPOs and all the other action.
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Oh, August can be sluggish, can't it? Hard to tell given the last two days of last week. Hoo-hah, as

James J. Cramer

, our daily columnist likes to say. Down the chute Thursday, right back up it on Friday, and the market is just rolling into the hot-and-heavy days of early September.

Yup, back from the beach, back from the cabins, back from all those places where traders and investors hide during the scorching month of August. The desks will be full, and we'll be ready to roll right from Tuesday morning's bell, giving you the latest dope from the stock market and the latest ideas from a stable of the strongest columnists in financial journalism.

For starters, Tech Savvy columnist

Jim Seymour

checks in with a three-part series on



and its challenges for the future. How will the company handle broadband access, its anti-Net origins,


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

and declining fees? Though it's merely a child next to

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

, AOL has become in its short life span the closest thing the Net has to an American institution -- and now that institution is at the crossroads. This series starts on Tuesday and will run through Thursday, only on

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As many IPO watchers noticed, August felt like the Gobi Desert. But things are going to change fast, and our IPO columnist,

Ben Holmes

, is busy mining his database of deals to bring you timely information this week on the IPO market. Check out Ben's "

fever meter," which tracks which investment houses have produced the best first-day returns for investors in new offerings. For this special column, Ben has opened up his database to


readers to give them a full rundown of league stats for the past two months. It's a must-read for investors gearing up to face a new barrage of IPOs.

And what would a week be without the ever-busy James J. Cramer? The trader will offer up not one, but two chats on Thursday. Sure, he sometimes has some cross words for our dead-tree cousins, but he's not afraid to wade into a chat at

. He'll be there on Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. EDT, taking on questioners while in the heat of the action. After the close, Cramer will crack his knuckles and participate in a


Chat at 5 p.m. It's free, but registration is required at

We're excited to have the gang back from the shore, and it promises to be a rollicking week. We'll be ready to cover every base. And if you have a question, comment or concern, don't hesitate to email me at

L'Etoile du Nord

Dave Kansas