From Reuters.com

The day ahead: Thursday

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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.

Graphic: China emissions targets

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An international goal to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius appears unreachable even if China embarks on a vast effort to tame its growing greenhouse gas emissions, a Beijing think-tank has said.

The day ahead: Wednesday

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Consumer prices data and quarterly results from technology company Oracle are among the highlights expected on Wednesday.

*  A spike in gasoline prices probably lifted consumer prices in August, but the overall inflation picture remains benign as the economy struggles to emerge from recession.

The day ahead: Tuesday

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On the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ failure, investors will also be eyeing quarterly results from Best Buy and Adobe Systems.

*  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on “Reflections on a Year of Crisis on the anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers.

The day ahead: Friday

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The stock market may get a boost from consumer sentiment data, which is expected to be higher from the “cash-for-clunkers” program.

*  The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading of consumer sentiment for September is due at 9:55 a.m. EDT.

The day ahead: Thursday

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Eyes will be on Motorola as it unveils new phones based on Google’s Android mobile software to boost its slipping market share.

Motorola unveils new phones in San Francisco.

*  The Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing to examine an SEC report that found its personnel assigned to the Bernard Madoff case were at times too inexperienced and resisted whistleblowers.

Choosing a health plan

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–Linda Stern is a freelance writer. Any opinions in the column are hers. You can follow Linda Stern’s financial notes on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lindastern –

Washington’s health-care reform debate could go on for a while, but who can afford to wait?

The day ahead: Wednesday

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Investors will eye Google and Apple as they display their wares and await  the possible return of Apple’s master showman CEO Steve Jobs at a media event.

*  Google is set to brief investors in a Webcast about search and monetization. While the company made its fortune on Internet search ads, Wall Street is increasingly eager for signs that the company’s other money-making bets will pay off.

Graphic: Lab mice replacement

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Moths, caterpillars and fruit flies could soon take the place of millions of mice used every year by scientists testing drugs, researchers said Tuesday.

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