From Reuters.com

The day ahead: Tuesday

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Home Depot reports quarterly earnings. The top home improvement chain has been banking on a slow-but-steady growth strategy and cost cuts to fight lackluster demand for big-ticket remodeling projects.

Other highlights:

*  Brian Moynihan, on the short-list of CEO candidates at Bank of America, is expected to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing.

*  Target has reported eight consecutive declines in quarterly profit but it may break that streak with its third quarter results.

*  Producer prices are expected to have risen 0.5 percent in October after an unexpected 0.6 percent in September, which was largely driven by a 2.4 percent decline in energy prices. Economists expect industrial output data to show production inched up.

The day ahead: Friday

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JC Penney reports quarterly results, with investors primed for the department store operator to beat estimates as its rivals Macy’s and Kohl’s did earlier in the week.

Other highlights:

*  Barack Obama makes his first trip to Asia as president, leaving behind a host of domestic problems on a visit that recognizes the region’s economic and diplomatic importance to the United States.

The day ahead: Thursday

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Wal-Mart sales numbers will hold the spotlight along with results from Walt Disney and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Highlights:

*   Wal-Mart is expected to report higher third-quarter earnings, but Wall Street is focused on U.S. sales, which the retailer has stopped reporting on a monthly basis.

The day ahead: Wednesday

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At the Reuters Health Summit expect exclusive interviews from the CEO’s of Pfizer, Humana and Novo Nordisk.

* On the earnings front, department store Macy’s and chip equipment maker Applied Materials report results.

The day ahead: Tuesday

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At the Reuters Health Summit expect exclusive interviews with Merck CEO Richard Clark, AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan and Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter.

Other highlights:

* Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner begins a two-day official visit to Japan ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation finance ministers’ meeting in Singapore on Thursday.

Escape to the West

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By Evelyn Selig

I was 10 years old and living with my parents in East Berlin, when on the morning of August 13, 1961 we received news that the border between East and West Berlin was closed. At that time my father was working in West Berlin, in the French Section. (The Berlin we were living in after the war was actually divided into 4 sections – the American, French and British in the West and the Russian Section in the East).

Our lives were changed completely on that day. My father wasn’t able to go to work anymore. We couldn’t travel to West Berlin anymore to visit relatives, go to the movie theatres or go shopping. We felt like prisoners.

The day ahead: Friday

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Employers likely cut payrolls by the least amount in 14 months in October, as the economy’s revival boosted optimism, but the jobless rate is seen touching a fresh 26-year high.

Other highlights:

* Three days after unveiling its $26 billion buyout of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reports results.

The Day Ahead: Thursday

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Sales results will pour in from a wide range of chain retailers, while investors who bought media shares on hopes for an ad comeback will look to CBS for guidance.

*Chain stores ranging from J.C. Penney to Target to Gap report their October monthly sales results.

China’s rise to superpower status

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