Investors will focus Wednesday on the congressional testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke -- and consumers should, too. Analysts will be parsing every word for clues about how quickly the Fed will begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying program.
The decision will affect stocks, Treasury bonds, the effort to bring down unemployment, and your ability to get a loan. His testimony will overshadow the Fed's Beige Book report on regional economic activity, due out this afternoon.
Also out this morning, results from Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Mattel (MAT). Mattel said its second-quarter net income fell 24 percent, pulled down by an impairment charge. The toymaker's revenue edged up but came in below expectations.
After the close, we'll hear from three other tech giants: IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC) and eBay (EBAY).
Chevron (CVX) is making a big bet on shale oil and gas deposits in Argentina. It agreed to pay most of the $1.5 billion to form a joint venture with Argentina's state-run energy company. Chevron is hoping to repeat the success it's had with shale oil in Canada.
The California-based utility PG&E Corp. (PCG) could face more than $2 billion in fines and penalties for its role in the natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno three years ago that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.
And one of the big losers today is likely to be Zagg (ZAGG), which makes accessories for consumer electronics. The problem is, it didn't sell enough of them last quarter, and it lowered its sales forecast for the full year.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
Ways to Make Money on the Side
Market Minute: Investor Focus Turns to Bernanke; Yahoo Still Struggling
PA for a day gives users the opportunity to hire a temporary personal assistant to do office work, run errands, walk pets, or do dozens of other jobs. While the website is great for harried professionals, it may be even better for workers looking to bring home a paycheck on a flexible schedule. If you're looking for a good-paying, short-term job where you can set your own schedule, why not drop them a line?
Are you good at putting together IKEA furniture? Do you have time to pick up a Craigslist item? Are you willing to go grocery shopping for someone else? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should think about joining TaskRabbit, a website where you can submit bids to do odd jobs. Depending on the task -- and on the area where you live -- you can make more than $40 per job.
Can you do a good celebrity voice imitation? Are you willing to film yourself wearing a hot dog suit and singing "Happy Birthday"? Are you a good artist? On Fiverr.com, "the world's largest marketplace for small services," you can transform your cool skills into cool cash. Basically, you create a listing with the skill that you are willing to offer, set a price (usually $5 and up), and work on finding clients.
At this point, Etsy is hardly a moneymaking secret, but most people don't realize how easy it is to turn the do-it-yourself marketplace into a thriving business. As our earlier article on Fifty Shades of Grey demonstrated, the site makes it easy for an enterprising DIY-er to piggyback onto the latest pop culture trend.
If you've ever wanted the joy of hanging out with a dog, but didn't want to sign on for the long-term commitment, you might consider joining Dog Vacay. The website pairs dog owners with dog lovers who are willing to babysit them for a short term. Prices start at $15 per night, but "hosts" can set their own rates. You're also allowed to take care of up to three dogs at a time, which means that -- if you're looking for a way to make some money on the side and don't mind sharing your couch with a furry friend -- this might be a great way to get some extra bucks.