It's all about the jobs report today, and stocks are tentative ahead of the number. The market is looking flat to positive, after a rousing performance yesterday that lifted the Dow to its 27th new record since October. Non farm payrolls are expected to increase by 167,000.
Asian markets were mostly higher over night, but China continues to shake out. Its stock market fell 4%, giving it a nearly 10% decline for the week. European markets are higher. UK stocks are helped by news that private equity firms are shopping in the aisles of UK grocer J Sainsbury. Oil is firmer this morning.
EARNINGS CENTRAL: Chevron earnings are due today, after Exxonreported its giant annual profit yesterday. According to Reuters, 304 of the S&P 500 have reported earnings. 63% beat per share estimates, while 48% beat on revenues.
NEW BEST FRIENDS: Russia and Iran are talking about forming a "gas" OPEC. The Wall Street Journal says this alliance could reshape geopolitical alliances and have big impact on energy markets.
GLOBAL WARNING: The United Nations releases its global warming report today and it will say that global warming is very likely caused by humans and the burning of fossil fuels. The report also says no matter what is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and rising sea levels will continue for centuries.
STOCK ACTION: Amazon reported strong numbers late yesterday but margin pressures could hit its stock today. Viacom was rated outperform by Wachovia, and Microsoft was upgraded to buy by Bank of America .
SUPER BOWL: Our Darren Rovell will be in Miami covering all things related to the Super Bowltoday, but if the stock market is your big game, check out John Harwood's interview with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. A college ball player at Dartmouth, Paulson talked about how important the sport was to him and how it's translated in his career. "It's my job to block for the President as we move the ball down field," Paulson told Harwood. He also told Harwood he's heading to Miami. "I'm 100 % for the Bears," he said.