While the market will occupy itself will all sorts of news over the week, the most important comes Friday. That's the day the Bureau of Labor Statistics presents its nonfarm payrolls count for February, a number that will have broad implications.
For now, Wall Street — per FactSet estimates — is expecting the report to show 185,000 jobs created during the month, and the unemployment rate down a notch to 4.7 percent. While respectable, that jobs number would represent a significant drop from the 227,000 reported in January, smashing analysts' estimates.
Some folks think the Street is in for another pleasant surprise.
Andrew Hunter, a U.S. economist at Capital Economics, figures the actual number will be closer to 240,000. The big payroll gain in January "was no fluke" he said, and a strong February reading is bolstered by a series of economic reports that show U.S. companies are gearing up to hire.