NEW YORK (USA TODAY) - Tracking financial markets can be tedious and tiring. It's tough to decipher what's important and what's "noise." So in the spirit of simplicity, here are three things to watch that could affect your money.
• Rising interest rates.Keep an eye on the trajectory of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note after the August employment report is released early Friday. A big bump in job creation could allow the Federal Reserve to start dialing back its bond-buying program, which could cause rates to spike higher.
The 10-year bond yield is trading at a fresh 26-month high and its yield is an eyelash away from 3% for the first time since July 2011. Watch to see how markets react to the threat of yields rising even more.
Bulls argue that rising yields are a good thing, as it's a sign the economy is improving. Bears see rising rates as a threat to the housing recovery, corporate profits and economic growth, a trio of headwinds that could hurt stocks.
• Raining U.S. bombs. Stay current on the political debate involving the U.S. and Syria. If talk of a U.S. military strike grows louder, market volatility could rise. Still, history says stocks tend to recover quickly once the bombs fall and investors get more clarity on the aftermath, which tends to be less scary than feared.
• Rebounding Dow. The Dow is again flirting with the key 15,000 level. If it can climb back above that milestone, it could be signaling that the recent stock pullback might be in the rearview mirror.