New data this week: Fed meeting and jobs data

Markets will face another significant U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike.  Officials expect a fourth consecutive 75 basis point rate hike on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. ET. Investors will also be watching for comments from Chairman Jerome Powell after the decision, economic forecasts from Fed officials and a dot plot showing Fed members' interest rate outlook.

Goldman Sachs analysts note several Fed officials recently suggested slowing the pace of monetary tightening as economic conditions have already become more restrictive. The bank pointed to the Yahoo Finance Live interview with San Francisco Fed President Mary C. Daly.

The Labor Department's October jobs report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday, will also be under scrutiny. Economists expect to see 190,000 new jobs created last month.

The October jobs report is expected to show monthly job growth below 200,000, a big drop from the average of 400,000 for most of the post-pandemic recovery, but at the pre-pandemic monthly average. The Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS report), due out Tuesday, is also projected to show a sixth month of job cuts, signaling more weakness in the labor market.

The reporting season also continues. More than 100 companies are expected to report third-quarter results this week. Companies' financial performance so far has been mixed, with disappointing numbers and forecasts from some market heavyweights, while other companies' results have been better than many feared.

According to Bank of America analysts, corporate earnings as a whole continue to "defy the challenges of the recession", with 34% of companies in the S&P 500 Index posting flat earnings per share on a quarterly basis.

"This is a pleasant surprise given the consensus forecast of lower earnings already in the current reporting period", the analysts said, also stressing that we are still only at the beginning of the reporting season.

Reports this week include results from Pfizer, Uber Technologies, Starbucks, Moderna and many others.

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