A blockbuster week gives way to a quieter one, but the focus will be the same -- the Federal Reserve.
In the past week, the U.S. central bank noted the case for an increase in interest rates had recently strengthened, making any new piece of data critical in assessing the chances for a rate hike in December. The chances of a year-end increase currently sit at 52%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
Durable goods orders for August will be released on Wednesday while international trade in goods for August will be posted on Thursday. The third and final estimate on second-quarter GDP will be issued on Thursday, while personal income and spending figures for August are set for Friday.
There's "not much by way of economic data [in the coming] week, but any weakness will add fuel to equities that will read that as a signal that the Fed may not raise rates at all," Tom Siomades, head of Hartford Funds Investment Consulting Group, told TheStreet.
Fedspeak in the coming week will be picked apart by analysts for clues as to whether that December hike comes to pass. On Monday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will participate in a Q&A in San Antonio, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will speak at a symposium on banking regulation.
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Kansas City Fed President Esther George will discuss the economic outlook at separate events on Wednesday. Mester and George, voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee, voted for a rates hike at last week's Fed meeting. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, and Kashkari will also make comments on Wednesday.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will make comments via video conference at the Kansas City Fed's Minority Bankers Forum on Thursday. Yellen noted in a press conference after the Fed's September meeting that a cautious approach to future rate increases was warranted, though she expects one interest rate hike by year's end.
"Given that the signals are pointing to a December lift-off, [the week's Fed] comments will largely be justifications for how they voted and how they perceive the economy," noted Siomades. "The Fedspeak will be a tempest in a teapot next week."
The first presidential debate could add some volatility as traders fret over Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's economic policies and how they could impact the global economy. Trump will join Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Hampstead, N.Y., for the debate hosted by ABC's Lester Holt.
"With the market consensus that the Fed is likely to increase their target rate in December at the earliest, focus will be on data and the U.S. election in the coming weeks," Bill Merz, investment strategist, U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told TheStreet.
A number of major companies are on the schedule to report earnings before the reporting season kicks off in earnest in two weeks. Carnival (CCL - Get Report) and Vail Resorts (MTN - Get Report) will report on Monday; FactSet (FDS - Get Report) and Nike (NKE - Get Report) on Tuesday; BlackBerry (BBRY) , Pier 1 Imports (PIR - Get Report) and Progress Software (PRGS - Get Report) on Wednesday; ConAgra Foods (CAG - Get Report) and PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) on Thursday; and McCormick & Co. (MKC - Get Report) on Friday.