Initial jobless claims, earnings, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's second day on Capitol Hill are the main events on today's calendar.
The Labor Department will announce jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect a reading of 348,000, down from 360,000 last week. A higher reading would be potentially bearish because it would mean that more Americans had lost their jobs.
Bernanke addresses the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET. While his comments are closely watched for clues about the direction of monetary policy, there may be few surprises because he appeared before the House yesterday.
Crude oil inventories will be announced at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Companies reporting before the opening bell include Amphenol, AutoNation, Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and Verizon. Google and Intuitive Surgical follow in the afternoon.
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