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, lastly, a summary of articles and papers worth reading. It was another boffo week for major markets worldwide. The U.S. markets continued their ascent from the early March lows, with the Nasdaq now positive for the year. It was largely a continuation of the relief rally that began four weeks ago, although positive catalysts included data that weren't as weak as expected and a better G20 meeting than many had predicted.
Looking forward to next week, we could very well see the rally continue. There are signs that banks are having good luck with fundraising, with both Goldman Sachs ( GS) and HSBC ( HBC) being discussed. Similarly, Friday's U.S. employment data, while grim, weren't as grim as expected, so that will lend further credence to the idea that we are seeing some "green shoots" of economic recovery. Looking further out, there is still ample potential for weakness later in the year, but for now the bulls have the ship's wheel. Turning to economic indicators, next week will include minutes from the Federal Reserve's crucial March 17-18 meeting. We will also see data on the latest weekly jobless claims, plus the February international trade deficit. As for earnings, next week marks the beginning of first-quarter reporting season. Kicking things off will be Alcoa ( AA), which reports Tuesday and will be closely watched.