The Dow managed to tack on +341 points while the Nasdaq squeezed out a respectable +97. While these numbers may not be as large as investors would like we need to realize that there have already been some great moves in the last few weeks. The Dow has posted a +18% gain since the Sept-21st low of 8062 and the Nasdaq is now up +27.5% since the low of 1387. These moves are larger than most entire years and they occurred in the last four weeks. Don't complain that the Nasdaq lost -6 points on Friday. It was just profit taking after a very nice run! After the great run described above we are now on our own and at the mercy of the markets. Confused? Earnings are over for all practical purposes. There will continue to be a trickle all the way into late November but the lions share of the S&P companies have all reported. There are some who feel that these earnings gave us a boost out of the depths. The reasoning is that the bar was set so low it would be hard for any company to miss the estimates. Sorry folks, some managed to do it anyway. Those who beat the lowered bar were not rewarded in general. There were some but they were the exceptions. Regardless of your feelings about the impact to the markets by this earning season, the impact is over. We are now watching carefully as next week looms ahead of us. The few companies that will announce are not expected to move the markets. Instead traders will start looking at economic news much more carefully as we get closer to the Nov-6th Fed meeting. Will they or won't they? Zero, +25 or +50 basis points? Reports that will impact that decision include the Consumer Confidence on Tuesday and 3Q GDP on Wednesday. The week is loaded with economic news and analysts are fairly confident that the Fed will drop rates by another 25 points. The common idea is that the supply of bullets is running low and they need to ration those that are left. You can make more small cuts than large ones and even if they are not making a difference on the surface the continued press is positive. The Fed will probably try to choose their shots carefully and we can expect the public appearances and statements to increase as they try to talk the economy back into growth mode.