The day ahead: Thursday

September 16, 2009

Investors will eye FedEx and Palm quarterly results for signs of strength as well as data from the housing sector.

*  FedEx reports fiscal first-quarter earnings before the bell. The package delivery giant is expected to benefit from stabilizing freight volumes as well as lower fuel prices.

*  Palm reports fiscal first quarter results, in which it will probably give details on sales of the Pre smartphone.

*  Housing starts and building permits are expected to have risen modestly in August.

*  The SEC meets to discuss rules to improve oversight of the credit rating industry.

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