Best Companies to Work For, and Romney on Trump—5 Things to Know for the Day Ahead

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are higher this morning, a day before the government releases its February jobs report and a day after the Federal Reserve’s “beige book” report showed modest growth in the labor market in the majority of U.S. district in recent months.

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Shawn Tully and it looks at how the tax returns that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has not yet made public may show a discrepancy between income and revenue while offering a fresh perspective on the former reality TV star’s overall wealth.

Here’s what else you need to know for the day ahead:

1. Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For

Fortune releases its Best Companies to Work For list Thursday morning, which recognizes employers based on the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. No. 1 on the 2016 list has secured the top spot for the seventh time in 10 years. The list also includes six companies that made the cut for the very first time.

2. Mitt Romney and the GOP debate

Last year’s Republican presidential nominee will speak this afternoon on “the state of the 2016 presidential race” at the University of Utah. While Mitt Romney’s speech is not expected to feature an endorsement or any major announcement, the former Massachusetts Governor is likely to denounce GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, of whom he has recently been publicly critical. Romney’s speech will come several hours before Trump and the rest of the GOP candidates (minus Ben Carson) take the stage in Detroit for their latest televised debate. Hosted by Fox News, the debate follows a round of Super Tuesday primaries that saw Trump extend his delegate lead by winning seven states, while Senator Ted Cruz won three states and Florida Senator Marco Rubio won Minnesota.

3. HPE Q1 earnings

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which includes the now split HP’s enterprise hardware and services business, is expected to post first-quarter sales and profit slightly short of analysts’ expectations. HPE was likely hurt in the most recent quarter by a slowdown in spending in the IT sector and investors will be interested in hearing how CEO Meg Whitman plans to move forward with cost-cutting efforts to improve the company’s balance sheet.

4. Kroger hangs on amid price crunch

Like many of its rivals, the supermarket chain operator faces the challenge of lower grocery prices and the strong U.S. dollar. But, Kroger (KR) is nonetheless expected to have done 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, investors will want to hear the company’s response to rumors that it is among the potential suitors for specialty grocery store chain Fresh Market.

5. Weekly jobless claims

The Labor Department is expected to report that the number of Americans who filed new applications for unemployment insurance last week dipped from the previous week. Weekly jobless claims likely fell by 1,000 last week, to 271,000 claims, as the labor market continues to show signs of sustained strength.


—Reuters contributed to this post.

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