Stocks notched their worst week since March, as traders seemed to take profits following the latest corporate earnings releases and U.S. jobs data - the Nasdaq dropped 2.9%, the S&P 500 was down 2.3% and the Dow Jones was lower by 1.1%. Corporate earnings reports have continued to surprise Wall Street analysts as the expected slowdown in profits has proven to be less than feared. Less jobs were added in July but the unemployment rate has ticked lower to 3.5% from 3.6%. Now, investors are eagerly awaiting what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates at their September 20th meeting, most believing they are done raising rates at this point. This week's inflation report (Thursday morning) will be key.
Economic reports from last week came back mixed: •Manufacturing (Dallas) - higher than expectation •Job Openings - lower than expectation •Construction Spending - lower than expectation •Private Employment - higher than expectation •Total Employment - lower than expectation •Jobless Claims - higher than expectation This week, investors will look for guidance from economic reports like Consumer Credit, Small Business Optimism, Consumer Sentiment and Jobless Claims.