Good Sunday morning. Here are some articles and papers worth reading. First, however, a look back at the week that just finished, and a look forward at the week ahead. Skepticism still abounds out there, despite the absence of major natural catastrophes or anything else to take the market down. The major markets fell again last week, with the Dow and the S&P 500 losing 0.1% and 0.8%, respectively, and the Nasdaq Composite falling 1.2%. It was unpleasant, but, on the positive side, it wasn't as bad as the prior week.
Click here for the weekly performance . We apparently remain in that maze of twisty little economic passages. We are still hovering at levels visited back in late 2003, and the markets demonstrably aren't eager to go elsewhere. Inflation has people worried, and while we will see a rush of earnings releases this week, we are also due for more economic commentary from Fed officials, so inflation is not yet off the agenda. But that said, assuming third-quarter numbers are reported in line, it is hard not to imagine we are due for some sort of bounce on the numbers. Inflation, weather disasters, Iraq, oil and pretty much everything else you can imagine is priced into the market, so that must leave "up" as a highly probable short-term direction. Turning to the economic week ahead, Alan Greenspan is due to give a speech Monday, so that will be unavoidable. The U.S. Labor Department will release the September producer price index on Tuesday. On Wednesday the Commerce Department is scheduled to release the September housing starts report, and then later in the week, on Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release its regional manufacturing survey. Next week is insanely busy with earnings reports, but here are just a couple of the companies scheduled to report: 3M ( MMM), Intel ( INTC), Caterpillar ( CAT), and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ).