Preview for the Week Ahead on Wall Street

This is the final week of the second half of 2009. Despite a rather bump ride, the S&P 500 is in the black so far for the year.

On Monday, Bernie Madoff will be sentenced for running a massive Ponzi scheme. I don’t expect Bernie to see the light of day for a very long time.

There will also be two earnings reports; one from H&R Block (HRB) and the other from Apollo Group (APOL). This is an important reporting period for H&R Block because it includes tax season which is critical for the company.

On Tuesday, GM will try to get approval to sell assets. The creditors want to be paid off any way they can.

Speaking of car companies, on Wednesday we’ll get a look at auto sales. Compared with last year, sales will probably be off around 25%. Also, the state of California may announce that it has finally run out of cash.

On Thursday, the government will release its employment report for June. I expect to see the jobless rate rise but the increase probably won’t be as much as in previous months. If the market likes what it sees, we could see the post-March rally continue for several more weeks.

The market will be closed on Friday ahead of the July 4 holiday on Saturday.

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