NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Commentary from the Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and consumer-confidence data will be the focus this week as the heavy part of earnings season has come to an end.
Yellen is scheduled to testify in front of U.S. lawmakers on Thursday after a Senate panel previously canceled the original hearing due to a snowstorm in Washington.
She is expected to reiterate the minutes from the Fed's January meeting that policymakers expect the economy will expand at a moderate pace in coming quarters and the central bank will continue to pare its massive bond-buying program.
Also on tap: the final February reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan this Friday.
Consumer-confidence data will provide insight into whether the outlook of consumers has materially changed and if recent weakness in labor and manufacturing figures are the result of winter weather storms.
If sentiment outperforms estimates, it could reignite confidence among global investors and lead to a rally in equities.
The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) is trading below the 185 level, recovering almost 7% since early February, but has felt selling pressure the past few days.
With earnings season coming to an end and weather distortions continuing in economic data, investors now wait on a catalyst to carry equities to new highs.