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Five Things We're Watching: March 1, 2011

1. Bernanke Gets Drilled

Most of us go to the dentist twice a year, and that's painful. The equivalent for Ben Bernanke is the trek up to Capitol Hill for his semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary policy.

Wall Street sign
Wall Street sign

In other words, he gets to defend his game plan before a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks also known as Senators. Will he finally see the ghost of inflation and throw in the towel on quantitative easing, the market's $600 billion bugaboo for some investors? That $100 oil price may alter his view.

2. Check the Brakes

Speaking of $100 oil, the automakers are out with February sales numbers. While the overall figures should be relatively strong, analysts are keen to see just how much of a slowdown occurred when oil spiked at the end of the month…especially critical as March typically marks the kickoff to a strong auto sales season. February's numbers are expected to come in at an annualized selling rate of 12.6 million vehicles, about the same level as last month.

3. Trading Egypt

Any buyers out there? Trading is set to resume on Egypt's stock exchange Tuesday, following a month of turbulent political revolt. Despite the 16 percent drop in the market before it closed on January 27, the smart money expects a sell-off once trading gets back underway. Even so, the move marks an important step as a recently high-flying emerging market tries to get back to business-as-usual. Don't expect Hosni Mubarak to make any trades, as more of his assets get frozen by the day.

Update: Well, Egyptian officials decided to delay trade one more time ... a move brokers said would just build up more sell-off pressure once the market really does reopen. (In the meantime, Saudi Arabia was getting hammered).

4. Manufacturing Dreams

Amid all the arcane data giving conflicting signals about the economy, the bulls keep pointing to the continually strong ISM manufacturing survey. It's expected to come in at 60.9 after last month's 60.8. Perhaps more important, it will give markets the best preview thus far of the critical Friday jobs report

5. iPad… Take Two

It's not until Wednesday, but the expected unveil of a second-generation iPad has gadget geeks and investors alike searching for clues. Sadly, there's no app for that. Apple has sold nearly 15 million units of the original iPad and significant upgrades in the new device could buffer the company from potential competitors like Motorola Mobility , Hewlett-Packard , Dell & Research in Motion . Overshadowing the whole event: CEO Steve Jobs' medical leave, with COO Tim Cook likely to oversee proceedings in San Francisco, California.

It's a busy Tuesday... if only there was a business legend handy to make sense of it all. Fortunately, Jack Welch is our Squawk Box guest host, so be sure to tune in to CNBC bright and early.