Wall Street walks a tightrope this week as investors focus on Tuesday's Fed meeting while deciphering economic tea leaves and bracing for more corporate warnings.
The earnings warning season this week moves into high gear as many companies announce that their third-quarter earnings will land shy of analysts' consensus estimates.
Analysts expect third-quarter earnings at companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 to rise 8.5% from the year-ago period, according to market researcher Thomson First Call. That's down from expectations of 10.9% growth just one week ago.
Meanwhile, Wall Street will seek more cues on where the economy is headed from this week's hefty helping of reports.
Two measures of consumer confidence to be released this week are expected to show that sentiment flagged in September.
An index from the Conference Board on Tuesday probably will show a drop to 92.4 from 93.5 in August. A University of Michigan index, for release Friday, probably will fall to 86 from 87.6, analysts predict.