August Could Be a Slack Month for Stocks


Stocks were surprisingly resilient after the lousy July jobs report was released on Friday. While share prices did take an early tumble, they came back nicely to close only slightly down. Now, with the report behind us and earnings season just about over, what will drive the market in the week ahead?

Fact is, no really significant economic reports are due out, though Ben Bernanke and the Fed Open Market Committee will be meeting on Tuesday to determine monetary policy, which could always move the market, especially if the
Fed decides to redouble any efforts to support the struggling economy. While Bernanke & Co. is likely to keep interest rates low for some time, it could begin to lay a foundation for further easing to help jump-start the economy.

Alan Valdes of DME Securities says the July employment report could come back to haunt the market this week, adding that it looks like August could be a slow to down month for investors. The reason: jobs. Not only are companies not hiring but people who are working aren't working long-enough hours, according to Valdes.

"If you look back in history to the 1920s and 1930s, it's always about jobs," says Valdes. So to get this economy moving again, we will need to see growth in the job market and in productivity as well. For more on what to expect in the market this week, see the short video below.