It's a new week and investors are wondering if the stock market will continue its September rally. Last week was the best for the Dow Jones industrial average since January. Stocks rose broadly Friday after traders got a lift from positive reports on inflation and spending. The Dow closed up 75 points. The S&P 500 rose 4 1/2 points. And the Nasdaq ended up six points. Wall Street looks set for opening gains today according to futures trading.
- International stock markets rose today after economist Lawrence Summers withdrew as a candidate to head the Federal Reserve, a development that many investors believe will prolong the U.S. central bank's monetary stimulus. Benchmark crude oil fell below $108 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
- Only one economic report is due out today. It's from the Federal Reserve and focuses on August industrial production. But tomorrow, the government releases the Consumer Price Index for August and the National Association of Home Builders is out with its housing market index for September. Also, Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates.
- President Barack Obama says he has accepted Lawrence Summers' decision to withdraw from consideration for the role of Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama says the Harvard professor and former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton was a critical member of his economic team and says he's grateful for his service on behalf of the country. Summers was the leading candidate to replace current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke but faced opposition from some Democrats.
- An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press finds unemployment rates for the lowest income families nearly matches the rate for all workers during the 1930s Great Depression, at around 21 percent. The analysis also finds the gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families is at its widest since officials began tracking the data a decade ago. Households making more than $150,000 have a 3.2 percent unemployment rate.
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