Market Insider

Traders watch data to see if sluggishness a ‘blip’

ADP's private sector jobs report and data on services sector activity could set the direction for stocks Wednesday.

While always important, economic data has become a flash point for stocks as investors try to assess whether a recent string of weak reports are signaling a slowing U.S. economy or just a weather-related blip.

ADP is expected to report that private sector payrolls grew by 189,000 in January, but traders are not seen putting much faith in the report after it showed 238,000 private payrolls in December. That number contrasted sharply with the surprisingly weak government December jobs report, which showed just 74,000 new jobs. January's employment report is expected to show 185,000 nonfarm payrolls when it is released Friday. ADP is reported at 8:15 a.m. ET.