News Summary: Shopping, but not till they drop
BIG SPENDERS? MAYBE: Consumer spending rose in July at the fastest pace in five months. But investors were underwhelmed. They sent stocks down, worried that high gas prices and stagnant employment will force people to cut back soon enough.
THE END OF SUMMER: Trading was light, as it has been for much of August, with many investors still on vacation. The market was largely in a holding pattern, waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech Friday.
BIG BEN: What Bernanke says — his view on the economy, and whether the Fed will take more action to try to prop it up — could move the market.