Market attention fixed squarely on Fed

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Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve dominate today's calendar.

The central bank will announce monetary policy at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference. The main question is whether the pace of asset purchases will be slowed, though it isn't clear how much of a reduction is currently priced into stocks.

Two minor weekly reports are scheduled for earlier in the session: mortgage-loan applications at 7 a.m. ET. and crude-oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

It's also the busiest day of the week for corporate earnings, with FedEx, Finisar, Jabil Circuit and Redhat all scheduled to release numbers.

The calendar remains active tomorrow, featuring purchasing-managers data in Europe, initial jobless claims, and existing home sales. Facebook is also scheduled to announce a new product.

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