Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch – Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

Trading direction tomorrow is almost certain to hinge, as usual, on the monthly employment report.

The Labor Department will release its measures of the employment situation for March at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), following up on a very disappointing payrolls number for February.

Economists expect that nonfarm payrolls rose by 175,000 last month, bouncing back from a weak gain of just 20,000 in February, according to forecasts compiled by

“We expect to see employment gains driven primarily by health care and professional services,” Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk wrote in a note. “Construction jobs should come back after suffering large, weather-related losses in February.”

The unemployment rate is forecast to have remained at 3.8%. Average hourly earnings, a measure of wage inflation, are seen up 0.2% for the month.

The stock market, once again, finds itself in a tricky, but familiar situation, where it’s unclear what will be a good number for equities.

A really strong rebound might raise the specter of the Federal Reserve considering tightening down the line. Another anemic rise and that could spook the bond market about economic growth, pushing yields down again.

Labor market indicators leading up to the report have been mixed, with ADP’s private sector payrolls rising much less than anticipated, while initial jobless claims fell to a multi-decade low.

The weekly installment of drilling activity from Baker Hughes on Friday will provide investors with clues on U.S. oil production amid the ongoing tug of war between U.S. shale and OPEC.

Data last week showed the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. fell to 816 from 824 the week before. The oil-rig count has declined 4.8% since mid-February.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

OPEC’s crude production fell for a fourth month in March, led by Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom continues to go above and beyond the cuts stipulated in the oil cartel’s latest production-cut agreement.

At the same time, however, U.S. oil producers continued to maintain record output at 12.1 million barrels a day, the EIA said on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve remarks could get some added attention tomorrow given that the market is aflutter about President Donald Trump’s reported decision to nominate former presidential candidate and Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain to the Fed Board.

Tomorrow, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will speak at 3:30 PM ET (19:30 GMT).

Bostic will speak on “Disruption and Opportunity: Shaping Policy in a Digital World” at Georgia State University in Atlanta. There will also be a Q&A.