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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. How Badly Are European Economies Weakening?

Germany will offer a clue to European economic strength when it releases revised data at 8 AM German time (07:00 GMT) on fourth-quarter gross domestic product. The forecast from economists surveyed by Investing.com is that the German economy remained flat in the quarter, the same as the earlier estimate.

As important is the 10 AM German time (09:00 GMT) German IFO Business Climate Index. The last five reports have shown the index declining. The forecast of economists surveyed by Investing.com is for the index to fall slightly to 99 from 99.1.

The European Union will release a report revising its consumer price index at 10:00 GMT. The forecast is for a 1.1% gain, unchanged from a Feb. 1 estimate.

Lastly, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak while receiving an honorary degree at the University of Bologna in Italy. The speech is at 10:30 AM Italian time (09:30 GMT).

European economies have been struggling over the last year because of worries about Brexit and slowing economic growth overall.

2. Federal Reserve Officials Set to Speak

Many members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's rate-making body, will speak on Friday.

The two most important speeches are likely to be:

- Vice Chairman Richard Clarida at 12:00 PM ET (17:00 GMT) on "The Federal Reserve's Review of Monetary Policy Strategies, Tools, and Communications," at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York.

- Randal Quarles, the Fed's Vice Chairman for Supervision, on "The Future of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet," also at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum. He speaks at 1:30 PM ET (18:30 GMT).

3. Earnings Reports Thinner, but Still Coming

The crush of reports from the December quarter are starting to wind down.

Look for reports from:

- Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE:RY).

- AutoNation (NYSE:AN), the big national automobile dealership chain.

- Real estate investment trust WP Carey (NYSE:WPC.

- Natural gas transporter Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSE:CQP).

- Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH), the parent of the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse chain.

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