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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Consumer Sentiment Expected to Rise

Is the consumer still holding up in the wake of very tepid job growth in February?

The market will get some more insight when the University of Michigan reports on its preliminary measure of March consumer sentiment at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

Economists expect that the Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 95.3.

The measure had risen to 93.8 in the previous month as it recovered from 91.2 in January, its lowest level since October 2016.

A strong number would add to evidence that a dismal drop in December retail sales, its worst in nine years, had been an outlier.

Along with the consumer, the economic calendar has data on how the industrial engine of the U.S. is faring at 9:15 AM.

Economists expect that industrial production rose 0.3%

2. JOLTs Coming, but Look for Quits

Speaking of last month’s employment number, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey (JOLTs) comes out at 10:00 AM ET.

Economists predict that the January JOLTs number fell slightly to 7.31 million last month.

A drop usually indicates some problems in the labor market, but there are a couple reasons why the market will probably ignore the headline number.

For one, the December number of job openings was a record high. Also, the JOLTs number is for January and that’s a month behind the recent nonfarm payrolls report.

What the market may find intriguing is the quits rate, which came in at 2.9% in December. If the number of people leaving their jobs increases, that could indicate that workers feel they still have a good opportunity of improving their livelihood with a new position, soothing worries about February’s anemic job growth.

3. Earnings Ahead

Buckle (NYSE:BKE), which operates 467 stores offering casual apparel, footwear and accessories aimed at young men and women, is expected to report earnings of 85 cents a share before the market open, say analysts polled by Investing.com. year ago, the company earned 87 cents. Revenue is forecast at $265 million, down 5.7% from a year ago.

Sporting-goods retailer Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) reports before the open and is expected to report earnings of 38 cents a share for the fourth quarter. That would be two cents higher than a year ago. Revenue is forecast at $277.4 million, up 2.8%.

Advertising company MDC Partners (NASDAQ:MDCA) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, up from 20 cents a year ago. Revenue is forecast at $389.35 million, down 3.3% from a year ago. The company has been trying to execute a turnaround. Stagwell Group, founded by Mark Penn, is expected to take a 30% stake in the company, with Mark Penn set to become CEO, according to The Wall Street Journal.


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