President Barack Obama (L) takes a question from top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, at the White House. - 

The U.S. is now just a day away from the sequester -- the $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts that came out of the debt ceiling debacle of 2011. While it’s tough to find an economist that thinks the cuts are smart policy, the sequester is unlikely to be averted before tonight's midnight deadline. U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the sequester and its likely impact on the economy.

J.C. Penney had another tough quarter. Sales were down 28 percent -- more than half a billion dollars. What's got the retailer down?

And Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe said today that he wants to bring some of the country's nuclear plants back online. That reverses a decision to phase out nuclear energy following the Fukushima disaster. In his speech to parliament, Abe said Japan cited the need for energy security. The country, which does not have its own energy resources, must import large volumes of natural gas, oil and other fossil fuels from around the world in the absence of nuclear program.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson