Updated from 5:57 a.m. EST
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, March 8:
1. -- U.S. stock futures turned slightly lower Wednesday ahead of the private-sector ADP jobs report, which will come two days before the official U.S. jobs report for February.
Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. to have added 189,000 private-sector jobs last month. The ADP report will be issued at 8:15 a.m. EST.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday also includes Productivity and Costs for the fourth quarter at 8:30 a.m., Wholesale Trade for January at 10 a.m., and oil inventories for the week ended March 3, at 10:30 a.m.
U.S. stocks on Tuesday fell for a second day, the first back-to-back declines since January, as a selloff in health care spoiled attempts by the market to push higher.
European stocks also turned lower Wednesday, after getting a boost earlier from solid corporate and economic data from Germany and as investors awaited a key budget statement from the U.K. government. Asian stocks rose for a third day after better-than-expected trade data from China and slow but steady improvements in the underlying Japanese economy.
2. -- A report commissioned by the U.S. government and reviewed by The New York Times accuses Caterpillar (CAT) of carrying out tax and accounting fraud.
"Caterpillar did not comply with either U.S. tax law or U.S. financial reporting rules," wrote Leslie A. Robinson, an accounting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the author of the report. "I believe that the company's noncompliance with these rules was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price. These actions were fraudulent rather than negligent."
No charges have been filed, and it isn't clear whether investigators agree with the findings or intend to act on them, according to the Times. The report, which hasn't been made public or made available to Caterpillar, outlines a company strategy for bringing home billions of dollars from offshore affiliates while avoiding federal income taxes on those earnings, the Times reported.
A spokeswoman for Caterpillar, which makes heavy construction and mining equipment, told the Times the company hadn't been provided with a copy of the report and declined to comment further.
Federal officials last week raided Caterpillar buildings near its headquarters in Peoria, Ill. Caterpillar said it was cooperating with law enforcement.
The stock fell 2.2% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
3. -- A consumer advocacy group is filing a complaint to Congress on Wednesday accusing Carl Icahn of violating lobbying rules by pushing the White House to change the federal ethanol regulations, Politico reported.
Public Citizen contends that Icahn, his company Icahn Enterprises (IEP) and the oil refining company CVR (CVI) that he owns failed to register as lobbyists, yet pushed the White House to change the EPA's decade-old rules on ethanol, a move that would save Icahn's company hundreds of millions of dollars.
Donald Trump named Icahn as the White House's special adviser for regulatory reform in December, but said he would "not be serving as a federal employee or a special government employee and will not have any specific duties," Politico noted.
4. -- China's CDB Aviation Lease Finance is poised to announce an order for 30 Boeing (BA) 737 MAX 8 passenger jets and is looking at placing further potential aircraft orders as it pursues international growth, industry sources told Reuters.
Dublin-based CDB Aviation, an arm of China Development Bank Corp., and Boeing both declined to comment on the order, which is believed to be on the planemaker's books already as an undisclosed customer, according to Reuters.
Express (EXPR) reported fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, matching analysts' estimates. Same-store sales in the period fell 13%; analysts expected a decline of 12.2%. The stock fell 5% in premarket trading.