There are several events on today's calendar, with a range of data overseas and in the United States.
The parade of numbers starts well before the U.S. market opens with purchasing managers reports in China and Europe, which could affect commodity prices and global equities, while most traders in the U.S. are still asleep.
The news begins flowing in this country at 8:30 a.m. ET with monthly non-farm payrolls. Economists predict a gain of 193,000 for December, up from 168,000 the previous month. A stronger reading would likely be interpreted bullishly, while the opposite may be the case in the event of a miss.
The University of Michigan's final revision of January consumer sentiment follows at 9:55 a.m. ET. Given that it was already released in preliminary form, it's unlikely to have a big impact on sentiment.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET is more important. Economists expect a 50.5 for January, down slightly from 50.7 in December. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, and those below that number indicate contraction.
Construction spending for December will also be released at 10 a.m. ET, but is unlike to have a major effect on markets because it's mostly backward-looking.
Earnings will also be released by companies including Merck, Tyson Foods, Mattel, and Legg Mason.
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