Mighty health insurance provider

Aetna

(AET)

will issue its quarterly earnings results today. Analysts expect the company, based in Hartford, Conn., to post first-quarter EPS of a penny, according to research firm

Thomson Financial/First Call

. A month ago, the company warned of significantly lower-than-expected earnings for the quarter, citing increased medical costs. The disclosure sent the stock reeling.

The company recently agreed to sell its

New Jersey Medicaid

and

NJ FamilyCare

businesses to

AmeriChoice of New Jersey

, a privately held company. Aetna said that 118,000 members will be switched over to AmeriChoice, but they have the option of choosing another health plan. The financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Aetna gained 19 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $25.40 Wednesday.

As for economic events, the weekly

initial jobless claims and

import and export data for April are scheduled for release before the market's opening bell. The initial jobless claims figure should provide some clues to the next

employment report

.

Economic Data

(

Forecasts are from

Reuters

. Times are Eastern. For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see

TSC's

Economic Databank.

)

  • 8:30 a.m.: Import Price Index for April. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: unchgd. Previous: -1.6%. Export Price Index: Forecast: n.a. Previous: -0.1%.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended May 5. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: 417,000. Previous: 421,000. Four-week average: Forecast: n.a. Previous: 404,500.

Speeches & Testimony

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan delivers a speech on the financial safety net in Chicago.