Traders this week will likely focus on the Federal Reserve and a few economic reports. The Central Bank releases details about its most recent policy making meeting on Wednesday but today stays dark due to the Presidents Day holiday. Earnings season is virtually over but the economic reports include housing starts, existing home sales and consumer price inflation. The markets are coming off their first back to back weekly gains of the year.
The path is being cleared for licensed marijuana companies to do business with the government. The Justice and Treasury departments have come up with guidelines on banks dealing with the operations in states such as Colorado. The rules are geared towards helping banks boost the availability of banking services to pot shops that usually deal in cash. They will also reduce the threat of prosecution for money laundering and related crimes if banks meet a series of conditions. Colorado is the country’s first state to operate retail outlets that permit marijuana to be sold for recreational use. More than a dozen and a half other states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
A debt limit extension is in place. President Obama signed the package over the weekend, which gives a one year extension to the government's borrowing authority. The President also signed into law a measure that restores a one-percent cut in military pensions. Obama signed both bills near Palm Springs, California where he spent the weekend.