In the week ahead, Wall Street will be watching Washington closely, as events at major federal agencies and the White House shape investors' perceptions about the future of the economy.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan is expected to meet on Monday with Karl Otto Poehl, president of the Bundesbank, the West German central bank. Given the recent disagreements between the United States and West Germany over monetary policy, investors will be watching for any signs of greater cooperation that might come out of the meeting.
On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee will meet to discuss monetary policy.
In recent days the Fed's focus on holding interest rates down by infusing cash into the banking system has helped stock prices recover.
There is speculation that the Fed may add to this momentum by cutting the discount rate, the interest rate it charges on loans to member banks.
"I would say it is 60 percent to 40 percent against it," said Shearson Lehman Brothers economist Allen Sinai.
Also on Tuesday, the Treasury Department will begin its quarterly refinancing of part of the federal debt.
The Treasury plans to auction $9.75 billion in three-year notes on Tuesday, $9.25 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday and $4.75 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.
Analysts said stock market investors will be watching to see how eager foreigners are to buy U.S. government debt. That can have an impact on interest rates and bond prices.
"I think foreigners are going to look at our Treasury auction very cautiously; that could be negative," said A.G. Edwards analyst Alfred Goldman.
Sales reports being issued this week might provide a clue to the effect the market collapse has had on consumer willingness to spend.
On Wednesday, the auto industry will report how many cars were sold in the 10-day period that includes "Black Monday," Oct. 19, when the market took its record fall.
On Friday, the Labor Department will announce the unemployment rate for October.
Throughout the week, investors will keep an eye on Congress and the White House as negotiators wrestle with ways to trim billions of dollars from the federal budget deficit.
In addition, the Senate may consider a proposed $11.6 billion tax increase.
"Psychologically, investors may well be focusing on events coming out of Washington as Reagan and his advisers meet with Congress on the deficit problems," Merrill Lynch's Walter Murphy said.
"That has been the donkey people want to pin the tail on."