Wide spectrum of of US Market:


Investors may have come into the week looking for a respite after some trying sessions, but in the end they didn't get much of a breather. In fact, the week started with an M&A bang as word emerged that two European banking powerhouses -- Barclays PLC and ABN Amro Holding NV -- were in exclusive talks about merging to form a global banking giant.

That was just the start, and investors hungry for news on which to trade had plenty to chew on. Tidbits ranged from the Federal Reserves decision to stand pat on interest rates, but change the wording of its policy statement -- to Motorola's renewed warning about future results. There was also news that Blackstone, one of the most private of the private-equity giants, was going to take itself public. The war in Iraq was in the spotlight, as Friday brought word that the country's deputy prime minister had been targeted by insurgents, the Iranian navy seized 15 British sailors in the Gulf and the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill that set a time table to withdraw U.S. troops. U.S. stocks rose for the week, buoyed in part by the Fed's decision to hold rates steady and hint at a softening of its view on future interest-rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) rose 3.1% for the week, while the NASDAQ Composite (.COMP) gained 3.5%. The Standard & Poor's 500 climbed 3.6% to outpace the field.

Our weekend analysis will give you how Home Depot's (HD) new CEO is building support for a renovation of the home-improvement giant; how, for the first time in U.S. history, millions of homeowners are at risk of losing their homes, even though they have steady work; and whether the natural-gas market is ready for a cartel of its own

Mohamed Arif with the help of Christopher Noble