updated 9/6/2004 5:22:22 PM ET 2004-09-06T21:22:22

Investors will be looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s upcoming meeting and third-quarter earnings pre-announcements in Wall Street’s short trading week following the Labor Day holiday.

Major Market Indices

While there are few quarterly earnings reports or major economic data in the coming week, many companies will be issuing guidance on their third-quarter earnings, hoping to either see a boost in share price or minimize surprises for negative news.

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was scheduled to testify before Congress on the state of the economy and the nation’s budget deficit, and Wall Street will likely look for clues as to the Fed’s stance on interest rates. The Fed’s Open Market Committee is due to meet on Sept. 21, where another quarter percentage point hike in the nation’s benchmark interest rate is likely.

With many investors sitting out last week’s trading due to vacations and the Republican National Convention, the markets also will be weighing news from last week, including Intel’s disappointing mid-quarter update and a so-so job creation report from the Labor Department.

Further guidance on the economy will come in the form of reports on consumer credit, imports and exports, the nation’s trade balance and wholesale inventories and prices.

Earnings reports due out during the shortened week include results from high-end retailer Neiman-Marcus Group Inc. and chip maker National Semiconductor Corp., while earnings pre-announcements or guidance could come from Barnes & Noble Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc. and McDonalds Corp.

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