NEW YORK – With U.S. markets closed Monday for Independence Day and a light financial calendar, Wall Street will be sparsely populated next week and stocks are expected to stay flat.
Rebounding oil prices probably will weigh on the market, which has stumbled since Wednesday's interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve (search).
The impact of Friday's much weaker-than-expected June jobs report also may carry over into next week, though some experts downplayed the data's effect.
"It's going to be a slow, quiet week," said Lincoln Anderson, chief investment officer at LPL Financial Services.
Friday's employment report probably will not hit stocks after the holiday, Anderson said, adding that the market's pace would remain sluggish until the second-quarter corporate earnings season ramps up mid-month.
The July 4th holiday weekend comes after the Federal Reserve's much anticipated move on Wednesday to raise its overnight bank loan rate to 1.25 percent from 1 percent and a slew of economic data.
Consumer confidence hit a two-year peak in June, as the job market improved and gasoline prices retreated from record highs, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
Friday, the Labor Department (search) said 112,000 jobs were created in June -- far fewer than the 250,000 that Wall Street had anticipated.
For the week, stocks fell. The Dow Jones industrial average (search) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (search) each shed 0.9 percent for the week, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (search) dipped 0.8 percent.
Market watchers say the next noteworthy piece of economic data will come out Wednesday, when the Institute for Supply Management (search) releases its June non-manufacturing index, which tracks service-sector activity.
The ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to post another reading above 60, which together with the strength in the manufacturing index, points to an above-trend growth rate in the second quarter, according to Commerzbanc Securities.
Other than that, and a handful of early corporate earnings, next week's financial schedule looks anemic.
"Don't be surprised if the market looks for reasons to rally but doesn't find them," predicted Weston Boone, vice president of listed trading at Legg Mason Wood Walker.
One drag on the market may come from rising oil prices, which are climbing back toward $40 a barrel.
Oil futures prices rose sharply late this week, rebounding from a sharp decline in late June, after a U.S. Energy Department report showed inventories may not be keeping up with demand.
On Friday, crude for August delivery settled on the New York Mercantile Exchange (search) at $38.39 a barrel, down 35 cents, after jumping more than $3 the previous two days.
Saudi Arabia's oil minister gave the energy market another reason to rally when he said Wednesday that current oil prices were fair and the kingdom saw no reason to boost production as much as they had initially planned.
Despite the United States' smoother-than-expected handover of sovereignty to Iraq's interim government earlier in the week, violence in the Middle East and global terrorism fears continue to hang over the stock market like storm clouds.
While the second-quarter earnings schedule is light until July 12, some heavy hitters are due to report next week. Alcoa Inc. (AA), the world's largest aluminum producer, will report earnings Wednesday, along with Internet search giant Yahoo Inc. (YHOO).
The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG), the largest maker and distributor of Pepsi soft drinks, will report Thursday.
Conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) will release second-quarter results on Friday.