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Economic Highlights

Who says nothing interesting happens in late August? The Nasdaq was closed for more than three hours yesterday due to a technical snafu -- meaning traders on the tech-heavy index were relegated to their beach towels while market officials drained the pool. Meanwhile, the NYSE was still open for business, and nothing much seemed to happen of consequence as a result… so, actually, I retract my earlier statement.

OK, so how's Jackson Hole shaping up? Still nothing definitive on the QE front, which I suppose subscribes to the "no news is good news" adage for the markets; QE tapering is coming eventually, everyone pretty much understands, but we don't look to be taking our medicine anytime soon.

Most Fed meeting headlines this morning are revolving around whether Ben Bernanke -- a no-show at Jackson Hole, adding to the absolutely riveting excitement of this past week -- will be replaced by potentially headstrong Vice Chair Janet Yellen or presumably more malleable Larry Summers. But don't expect a decision on this front today, either. Time for another cup of coffee…

Pandora (P - Snapshot Report) reported after he close Thursday and provided an earnings beat on exceptional year-over-year growth, but guided lower for fiscal 2014. Ann, Inc. (ANN - Snapshot Report) beat expectations this morning while Foot Locker (FL - Snapshot Report) missed Zacks consensus expectations on the bottom-line, helping flesh out another lukewarm Retail industry earnings season.

I think the next time I'm charged with covering Ahead of the Market in the fourth week of August, I'm going to write it in novel form and call it "50 Shades of Beige."

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