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The Week Ahead: March 16-20

KEY EVENT: High level of interest. With recent economic reports showing an improving job market, many analysts believe the two-day Federal Reserve meeting that starts Tuesday will be the most significant in years because the central bank may announce a firm schedule on when it will raise interest rates.

MONDAY: The Federal Reserve releases February industrial production. Another reading showing a stronger economy could be a further spur for the Fed to raise rates. Also, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases the March Empire State index, an indicator if higher-paying manufacturing jobs will soon be added to the state's economy.

TUESDAY: Housing starts for February from the Commerce Department. Earnings: Oracle.

WEDNESDAY: Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen holds a first news conference after the Fed announces its decision on interest rates. Earnings: FedEx.

THURSDAY: Jobless benefits claims for the week ended March 14 from the Labor Department. Earnings: Nike.

FRIDAY: "Quadruple witching," the quarterly stock market event when stock futures, stock options, index futures and index options expire at the same time, which sometimes causes wild swings in the market. Earnings: Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants, Tiffany.

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