THE FED SPEAKS The Federal Reserve delivers an update on its interest rate policy and the economy Wednesday. The remarks will follow a two-day meeting of the central bank's policymakers. The Fed boosted its benchmark interest rate four times last year, with the last quarter-point increase coming in December. At the time, officials signaled that it would increase rates twice more this year.
PULLBACK ON HIRING? Economists predict hiring in the U.S. slowed in January after a big jump the previous month. They expect the Labor Department will report Friday that nonfarm employers added 169,000 jobs in January. That would be down from December's tally of 312,000 new jobs. The health care, food services, construction and manufacturing sectors were the primary contributors to hiring last month.
Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted: Aug. 286,000 Sept. 119,000 Oct. 274,000 Nov. 176,000 Dec. 312,000 Jan. (est.) 169,000 Source: FactSet