- If the Dow duplicates yesterday's performance today, the blue chip index will hit a record close. Stocks overcame some early jitters about a potential slowdown in China yesterday, and all three major indexes closed higher. The Dow added 38 points at 14,128, just 36 points shy of its all-time high close.
- International stock markets rose today as investors registered approval for China's spending priorities announced at its annual congress. Benchmark crude oil rose but remained below $91 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
- There's just one fresh bit of economic data on today's schedule. The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for February. Last month, the index showed slowing growth at U.S. service companies.
- A cap on banker bonuses is the main topic today as European Union finance ministers meet in Brussels. Many EU countries favor the move, but British officials have expressed reservations, with some concerned it could crimp the financial sector in London, among the world's largest.
- Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged to transform China into a consumer-driven economy but gave no indication what Beijing will do about big state companies that reformers warn could handicap future growth. Wen, speaking to China's ceremonial legislature, confirmed a 7.5 percent growth target. That is in line with Communist Party plans for a rebalancing of the world's second-largest economy away from reliance on trade and investment to drive growth. Wen steps down next week after 10 years.
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