Investor uncertainty over the Fed's future course is being reflected in recent stock market activity, with the S&P 500 having alternated between gains and losses for the past seven sessions. U.S. stock index futures are currently pointing to a mixed opening, but that comes ahead of some significant pre-market and post-open economic data.
The most widely watched report of the morning comes at 8:15 a.m. ET, when ADP issues its May figures on private sector employment. Consensus forecasts call for 170,000 new private sector jobs for last month, compared with 119,000 new jobs in April. This comes ahead of Friday morning's government employment report for May, in which economists are expecting to see 169,000 new non-farm jobs.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Labor Department issues revised first quarter productivity figures, expected to show an annualized growth rate of 0.4 percent, down from the initially reported 0.7 percent last month.
At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management is out with its non-manufacturing index, a measure of the U.S. service economy. Economists look for that index to come in at 53.5, up slightly from April's 53.1. We'll also get April factory orders at the same time, with consensus forecasts calling for an increase of 1.5 percent after March's 4.9 percent decline.
At 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve issues its Beige Book, the region-by-region assessment of the nation's economy.
Weekly reports out today come from the Energy Department, with its look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, which is out with its mortgage applications release at 7 a.m. ET.
Spirits producer Brown-Forman (BF/B) and home builder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) are among the companies issuing quarterly earnings this morning, while retailer Coldwater Creek (CWTR) is out with their numbers after today's closing bell.
Apple (AAPL) leads our list of stocks to watch, after the International Trade Commission ruled that the AT&T versions of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 violate patents held by Samsung. Apple plans to appeal the ruling.
Mattress Firm (MFRM) reported first quarter profit of $0.38 per share, excluding certain items, two cents above estimates, with revenues also beating estimates. The mattress seller was able to improve its revenues despite a decline in same-store sales, as it opened new stores and acquired others.
Toyota (TM) is recalling 242,000 Prius and Lexus hybrid models to fix a possible issue with braking systems.
Microsoft (MSFT) unveiled the latest version of its Windows 8 operating system, known as Windows 8.1, at a computer show in Taipei. The update will be rolled out later this year.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) will take an $842 million loss on the bankruptcy of Alabama's Jefferson County. JPMorgan is a major holder of debt related to the county's sewer systems.
Pandora (P) chief financial officer Mike Herring is downplaying potential competition from an Apple streaming radio product, which has been rumored but not yet announced. Pandora stock has fallen more than 15 percent over the past few days on those reports, but Herring told a technology conference that Pandora will continue to compete against any "real or imaginary" competitor.