Stocks have remained aloft despite a fragile status quo.
The Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq Composite are in the most significant pullbacks since January's emerging-market dive.
The central bank will announce its plans on bond buying on this afternoon. The question is how investors will react.
Apple pushes the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 to 13-year highs, and the Dow jumps 141, its best day since mid-July, thanks to gains from Caterpillar, 3M and IBM.
The Dow falls nearly 4.5% for the month as stocks suffer modest losses. September, historically a tough month, looms. Markets are closed Monday for Labor Day.
Low-trading volumes may minimize big market moves in the days to come. But September and its volatile history are still ahead.
But the market is beginning to look overbought as oil prices and interest rates are on the move again. Google, Apple and Facebook boost the Nasdaq.
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The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
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