Week to feature Fed meeting, jobless report

Someone's wrong about the direction of the economy.

A number of professional forecasters waved the recession warning flag earlier in October. They saw decelerating trends in several of the economic indicators. However, as the month wore on, a number of reports suggested that the U.S. economy -- while far from robust -- was bumping along showing modest growth.

We'll get more fuel for that debate this week. The Federal Open Market Committee meets for two days, starting Tuesday. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon after the central bank releases its latest thinking on the economy and interest rates.

Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release its October employment report on Friday morning. Economists anticipate a dip in the unemployment rate holding at 9.1 percent and employment rising by 95,000 in October, down a bit from 103,000 in September, according to a Bloomberg survey.

This will be another active week for earnings reports for local companies. First out of the gate is Malvern-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, which reported net revenues up 24 percent to $66.7M from $53.6M in the third quarter. The specialty pharmaceutical developer trimmed its net loss to $4.1M, or 8 cents per share, from $12.8M, or 27 cents per share.

Finally, the slide of MF Global Holdings into a possible bankruptcy filing Monday is nothing short of remarkable. Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has been MF Global's CEO since March 2010. Bloomberg News reported that the future broker's board met throughout the weekend to review its options. And the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has apparently suspended doing business with MF Global.