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Simply put, August was a month of give and take for investors. It seemed that the entire month was fighting for direction. Heading into the last few days of the month and the first few days of September, investors may finally get that direction. A new month means a slew of new major data points. And that fact could drum up volatility — and ultimately, give equities a distinct direction for the last few months of the year.

As for those data points, we’ll get critical measures of employment and labor health this week, as well as major manufacturing metrics. Consumer health — through heavy goods sales and housing-related data — round out the major data points released this week.

As for earnings, with the so-called “earnings season” pretty much over, the number of reports this week will trickle down to basically nothing. However, there are still a few bellwethers and S&P 500 components reporting, so they should help drive the direction of the market.

All in all, data should drive the overall market and end the listlessness we’ve experienced over the past few weeks.

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