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The Week Ahead: Did Hiring Remain High in December?

Jeremy Glaser

Jeremy Glaser: 2018 will kick off with a few pieces of key economic data.

The jobs report on Friday will be the most closely watched. Strong jobs numbers were one of the key factors that led the Fed to raise rates at their last meeting. We will see if hiring remained high at the end of the year and also if a tighter labor market is leading to higher wages.

The closely watched ISM manufacturing gauge, auto sales, construction spending, and factory orders are also due this week.

Earnings are fairly quiet ahead of the kick off of the fourth-quarter reporting season.

Walgreens will give an update on Thursday. Last quarter the firm saw a nice bump in prescription volume but that came at the expense of margins as it discounted to obtain prim positions with pharmacy benefits managers. Analyst Vishnu Lekraj will be watching to see if the firm can keep reducing centralized costs to offset this pressure.

Constellation Brands is also on tap. Morningstar's Sonia Vora thinks the beer, wine, and spirits company has been delivering impressive results, but she thinks the shares look overvalued today.

Stay tuned for our take on these stories.