Investors will be looking to a pile of earnings reports due out this week for signs of when the economy might begin to turn around.
And the Federal Reserve will also be chiming in, as everybody waits for Congress to act on President Barack Obama's massive stimulus program.
Earnings reports are expected from hundreds of companies, including technology, energy and consumer products firms. Most major financial companies have already issued their results but reports from American Express and Wells Fargo are yet to come.
Wall Street has largely written off the fourth quarter as a disappointment and investors are looking beyond weak earnings. They're taking cues from company forecasts. And analysts say they're hoping for some "positive surprises" to lift some of the gloom about 2009.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)