Good Sunday afternoon, and welcome to another edition of Weekend Reading. First, a look back at the week that just finished, then a look forward to the week ahead, and, finally, a summary of articles and research papers worth reading.

It was a blockbuster week. The long-expected relief rally happened, and it took markets up sharply, with the Dow and the S&P 500 up 9% and 10.7%, respectively, and the Nasdaq up 10.6%. (See table below.) Markets outside the U.S. didn't do as well but still turned in impressive numbers.

The cause? In some sense it was just a classic coiled spring, with the markets heading higher because they had been going in the opposite direction for so long. At the same time, news about bank profits proved helpful, and there was an absence of the truly awful news that has pressured the markets so severely in recent weeks.

Looking forward to next week, we could very well see this rally continued, but it is far from certain. The bears are still everywhere and triumphant, and bulls are nervous -- a potent combination for further price gains. While valuations are better, they are not down to trough levels seen in the past, nor is it likely that bank troubles are behind us. Waves of defaults are ahead, plus troubles in insurance and commercial real estate, so complacency and bottom-calling are highly inappropriate.

Turning to economic indicators and events, the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee meets this week. Also on the docket are February data on industrial output and capacity utilization, and the producer price index and consumer price index for February.

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