Hello friends and Fortune readers.
This week brings a fresh look at the state of the U.S. labor market as well as a major step in the 2016 race for the White House. Investors will also be able to parse through another round of corporate earnings, with several large retailers and one-half of the former Hewlett-Packard all reporting quarterly numbers this week. But, first, ABC hosts what is typically the most-watched award show of the year when the Academy Awards air Sunday night following more than a month of controversy.
Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.
1. February jobs
The calendar’s shift to March this week means that Friday will bring the latest round of monthly employment data. The Labor Department is expected to report that U.S. employers added 190,000 positions in February after a 151,000-job increase in the first month of the year. The latest gains would keep the unemployment rate steady at 4.9%. Meanwhile, investors this week will also have their eyes on economic data that is likely to show an increase in construction spending in January and that the trade deficit widened slightly. The data follows a week that saw U.S. stocks end with weekly gains despite mixed results on Friday, when oil prices dipped again.
2. Super Tuesday
This is a big week for the seven remaining presidential candidates across the GOP and Democratic parties. Tuesday brings primary elections and caucuses in more states—with more delegates up for grabs—than on any other day in the election cycle. Half of the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination will be on the table as voting takes place in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.
3. Retail earnings
Costco Wholesale (COST) is expected to post second-quarter profit and sales that fall just short of Wall Street’s forecasts on Wednesday. The warehouse club retailer’s sales flagged last month amid lower grocery prices and the strong U.S. dollar, with more than a quarter of the company’s revenue coming from overseas. Another retailer facing the crunch of lower grocery prices is supermarket chain operator Kroger (KR), which nonetheless likely fared well in the fourth quarter due to increased market share in places like Chicago as well as rival Walmart’s decision to close more than 260 locations. Meanwhile, teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) will likely post its 12th-straight quarter of declining sales when it reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. Like other apparel retailers, the company was hurt by unseasonably warm weather over the holiday season.
4. More earnings: HP, Barclays
After HP reported earnings last week, this week brings a quarterly update from the other half of the tech giant’s split. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which includes the former company’s enterprise hardware and services business, is expected to post fourth-quarter sales and profit slightly short of analysts’ expectations. Other companies reporting quarterly earnings this week include Barclays (BCS) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX).
5. 88th Academy Awards
Hollywood’s biggest stars are gathering in Los Angeles for the Academy Awards on Sunday night. Airing on Walt Disney’s (DIS) ABC, the award show has already seen quite a bit of controversy. Some prominent stars are boycotting the Oscars this year over the lack of any non-white acting nominees, and the controversy even spurred the Academy to announce a series of changes to its membership and governance structures in order to improve diversity. The biggest prize of the night, for Best Picture, is still seen as a toss-up between frontrunners such as The Revenant and The Big Short. On Friday, Fortune broke down who all of the experts are predicting will win.
—Reuters contributed to this post.