The Week Ahead: Summer Vacation Is Over

This article originally appeared on RealMoney.com on Aug. 31, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. To read more content like this AND see inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE... Click Here NOW.

We hope you've enjoyed the tail end of summer and the long weekend, because once the U.S. stock markets open on Tuesday, it'll be back to business. That's right: There'll be no more summer vacations getting in the way.

Instead, companies will not only be focused on making their third-quarter numbers, but they'll be doing so with only a handful of months left in 2014 -- the year-end sprint will soon be upon us. Because the market is closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday, things will be a bit compressed over the next few days, and that will make for an even busier week than usual.

So where are the markets ahead of Tuesday's starter pistol? Friday's market close shut the books on August, which saw a 1.7% move in the S&P 500, bringing it to 8.4% on a year-to-date basis. By comparison, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index is up 9.7% so far in 2014, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is lagging with a rise of only 3.2%. I'd note that Friday's close saw the S&P 500 once again break through the 2000 level despite renewed worries over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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