Wall St The Week Ahead: Crimean vote spooks market

INVESTORS will start the week early as yesterday’s referendum to decide if Crimea becomes part of Russia or remains Ukrainian will likely reverberate in markets worldwide.

US stocks closed Friday with their largest weekly drop in the last seven weeks as the strongest confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War unfolds. Markets were also haunted by concerns over China’s economy.

The Federal Reserve is also on investors’ radars as a two-day meeting of its policy-setting committee kicks off tomorrow. The Fed could use the meeting, the first with Janet Yellen as chair, to map out its plan for rate rises, whether in the formal statement it issues afterward or in Yellen’s news conference.

Data due out this week includes housing starts and consumer inflation data tomorrow and the Philly Fed survey, weekly jobless claims and home resales on Thursday.