The Federal Reserve could change the calculus for markets with just two words. The phrase “considerable time” was added to the Fed’s statement earlier this year, when it wanted to reassure markets that when quantitative easing ends it would hold rates lower for longer—an eternity to stock and bond traders. Read More Fed and Alibaba Effect to hang over stocks …

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Pro-union (R) and pro-independence (L) campaigners jostle for space during a rally by Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 12, 2014, ahead of the referendum on Scotland's independence.

On Thursday, Scotland will take to the polls to determine whether it wants to break off from the United Kingdom. And while even a vote in favor would simply be the beginning of a long and extremely complex process, all of a sudden, markets are paying rapt attention to the potential outcome. The upcoming Scotland …

Three events to watch

Three key events this week could keep investors on edge including the Fed’s latest policy, Scotland’s independence vote and Alibaba’s IPO.

Markets & the President’s Speech

Stocks were able to turn around in today’s session. Now, all eyes will be on President Obama as he addresses his strategy for defeating Isis. How will investors react?

Stephen Lam | Reuters
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the Apple Watch during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, Sept. 9, 2014.

Traders say the Apple Watch was a disappointment when Apple introduced it Tuesday along with two new iPhone 6 models and a payment system. Poll: Will you buy the new Apple devices? Pacific Crest Securities downgraded its view on Apple to “perform” from “outperform” Wednesday, citing stagnant iPhone growth and a “lack of compelling features” on the …

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Statues of a bear and a bull stand outside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Gina Martin Adams of Wells Fargo has long been known as the most bearish strategist on Wall Street. After all, at 1,850, she had the lowest year-end S&P target among major strategists. But on Tuesday, she got rid of that year-end target and initiated at 12-month target of 2,100, reflecting a mildly bullish outlook. “We’ve …


Apple‘s afternoon product announcements should be the highlight Tuesday as analysts and gadget geeks eagerly await the unveiling of a new handset and possibly a wearable device. The euro continued its decline, falling below 1.29 Monday after the European Central Bank last week announced new stimulus and rate cuts. The British pound fell more than …

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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, extending losses after the S&P 500′s biggest drop in a month, as Treasury yields rose and investors looked to Apple’s product launch later in the session. “The sell-off in bonds is definitely noteworthy, particularly in Europe. We’ve got a six-week high in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield and a three-plus-year …

Energy pressures stocks

The big driver sending the markets lower was a dip in energy stocks as the price of oil continued to decline.

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Job seekers wait to meet with a recruiter during a career fair in San Francisco.

August’s nonfarm payrolls growth of just 142,000 raises concerns that the economy is healing unevenly, but economists say the stunningly weak jobs report could be just a temporary setback in a stronger trend. The soft employment data, however, is also questionable enough to add fuel to the debate about labor slack when the Fed meets later in …

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Janet Yellen speaks with Mario Draghi during the Jackson Hole economic symposium in August.

The European Central Bank’s full throttle easing program comes as the Fed backs away from its easy ways, and the distinction between the two could become even greater when the Fed meets later this month—meaning higher U.S. rates and a stronger dollar. Some strategists expect the ECB’s surprisingly robust easing program, and improvements in the …

Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Call it a Fortress USA mentality—the stock market hitting new highs while the news abroad ranges from economically dismal to militarily gruesome. Russian forces roll into Ukraine amid news of beheadings in Iraq from one of the most brutal terrorist groups the world has ever seen in the heart of the world’s oil production and …

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a popular gauge of whether people are expecting gyrations in the market, just saw its biggest monthly plunge in nearly three years. So are we headed for a mellow September? Not necessarily, if you ask some of the major hedge funds, who say they’re torn between betting both on a stock-market …

Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stocks shaved morning gains to trade mixed on Wednesday amid hopes of easing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Earlier, the S&P 500 traded at record highs and the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 were also at 14-year highs before falling to a narrow trading range. “The factory order numbers didn’t have a huge impact,” said …

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RANKFURT/MAIN, Germany: A trader sitting in front of a chart displaying German share index DAX gestures as he speaks on the phone

Risk assets across Europe rose sharply on Wednesday, led by a surge in Russian stocks, on hopes that the presidents of both Ukraine and Russia were nearing a cease-fire agreement. Russian shares on the MICEX index traded nearly 4 percent higher in the afternoon. Among the top performers, construction company Gruppa Kompaniy surged up to 9 …