Stocks look set to move slightly higher Wednesday, days after the Nasdaq moved above 5,000 for the first time in 15 years.
Investors are digesting data on private-sector hiring and retail earnings this morning, and later Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, one of the Federal Reserve’s most dovish policymakers, will give his views on the economy ahead of a key Fed policy-setting meeting in mid-March. Also on tap today: the Federal Reserve will issue its so-called Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Hiring in focus.
ADP issued the National Employment Report for February this morning. Private employers added 212,000 jobs, slightly below the 220,000 estimated. Later, the Institute for Supply Management releases its non-manufacturing index for February. Analysts expect a reading of 56.5, according to a Reuters poll. Also, financial data firm Markit releases the final reading of its Purchasing Managers Index for the service sector for February.
2. Abercrombie’s profit falls.
Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) said Wednesday its quarterly profit fell by a third, hurt by low demand for its Hollister and namesake brands, discounts and a strong dollar. The company’s net income fell to $44.4 million, or 63 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $66.1 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales fell 14% to $1.12 billion, while total comparable sales fell 10%.
3. Obamacare debated.
The Supreme Court’s nine justices will today hear arguments on the future of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law. The case could derail the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, and potentially increase the cost of insurance for millions across the U.S. Click here for what you need to know about King v. Burwell.
4. Ask Zuck a question.
Later Wednesday, Facebook (FB) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will interact with the public and answer questions on a webcast from Barcelona through a webcast, in the latest of his series of “town hall” events. You can register to ask a question here.
5. Toyota diversifies.
Toyota (TM) on Wednesday promoted more foreigners to senior posts, including the first woman and first African-American to hold executive titles, diversifying a management team long dominated by Japanese men. The world’s biggest automaker appointed Europe chief Didier Leroy to become one of six executive vice presidents (EVP) effective after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June. He would be the first foreigner to become a Toyota EVP, the highest post to be held by a non-Japanese.
—Reuters contributed to this report.