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The Week Ahead, Sept. 15-19

KEY EVENT: Midsummer cool-off? In July, the number of Long Island jobs added was the highest in six months. But separate data released earlier this month showed the national employment picture cooled in August, as the number of jobs created was less than expected. Did local employers also cut back on hiring last month? The answer comes Thursday, when the state Labor Department releases Long Island jobs created in August.

MONDAY: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases the September Empire State index, a survey of New York manufacturing strength.

TUESDAY: The Labor Department posts August producer prices, an update on inflation at the wholesale level.

WEDNESDAY: The Federal Reserve announces its decision on interest rates and updates its assessment of the economy. Also, the nation's most closely watched inflation gauge: consumer prices for August from the U.S. Labor Department.

THURSDAY: Jobless benefits claims for the week ended Sept. 13 from the U.S. Labor Department. Also, August housing starts from the Commerce Department.

FRIDAY: "Quadruple witching," the quarterly occasion when stock futures, stock options, index futures and index options expire at the same time, an event that sometimes causes stock market volatility.

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