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Sharp/Foxconn and U.S. GDP—5 Things to Know for the Day Ahead

Tour Of The Foxconn Complex And Interview With CEO Terry GuoTour Of The Foxconn Complex And Interview With CEO Terry Guo
Terry Gou, chairman and president of Hon Hai Precision Industry (aka Foxconn), speaks at the product testing facility on the Foxconn City complex in Shenzhen, China.Photograph by Thomas Lee — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are up nicely this morning, after international markets advanced as the G20 Summit kicked off in Shanghai.

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Roger Parloff and it looks at the potential fallout of a Michael Bloomberg presidential run as an independent—a turn of events that could “precipitate one of the worst constitutional crises in American history,” according to a Yale Law School professor.

Here’s what else you need to know to start the day.

1. Sharp and Foxconn try to save their deal

After Foxconn agreed to acquire Sharp, and then backed out because of “previously undisclosed liabilities” on Sharp’s books, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou was slated to meet with Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi on Friday to see if they could get the deal back on track. The deal was supposed to have signaled the opening up of Japan’s insular tech sector to foreign investment.

2. U.S. GDP

The Commerce Department will likely report today that the U.S. economy grew at a slower pace in the final quarter of 2015 than the government had previously estimated. The latest estimate for fourth-quarter gross domestic product is expected to show that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.4%, as opposed to the 0.7% rate reported last month.

3. J.C. Penney earnings

The department store chain is expected to post fourth-quarter profit that beats Wall Street’s expectations today. Unlike many retail rivals, particularly more upscale names, J.C. Penney (JCP) saw strong holiday sales last quarter, including swift sales online and strong demand for the company’s private-label brands. Investors will be interested to hear whether or not the company’s strong sales suffered in January, though, due to Winter Storm Jonas. For more on J.C. Penney and the company’s turnaround, led by CEO Marvin Ellison, read this article from the March 1 issue of Fortune magazine.

4. FIFA picks a new president

FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, holds elections today to select a new president after a year that saw several top executives indicted on corruption charges and longtime president Sepp Blatter’s resignation (following his re-election in May) amid the controversy. Blatter was later banned from the sport for eight years (later reduced to six years) after an investigation found him guilty of various forms of corruption. Today, a special FIFA Congress will decide between five candidates to take over the organization, including Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.

5. Elections in Iran, Ireland

Iran holds national elections today to determine members of parliament and to pick the Assembly of Experts that will choose the successor to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Despite the recent nuclear deal, there is concern over Ayatollah Khamenei’s goal for Friday’s elections to signal a victory for a conservative faction that is less open to cooperation with the West. Meanwhile, voters in Ireland will take part in that country’s general election today, with current Prime Minister Enda Kenny hoping the country’s recent economic recovery can help his Fine Gael party retain power with its Labour coalition.


—Reuters contributed to this post.