Retail sales to the fore as reporting ends - Wall St week

WITH the US third-quarter earnings season almost at an end, many investors are breathing a sigh of relief as more companies surpassed profit expectations than in any quarter since 2010. But some analysts say investors may be brushing off their worries about corporate profits a little too soon.

Economists are focused on retail sales after the September’s numbers dropped more than expected, signalling concern about the strength of consumer spending heading into the year’s final quarter. Consumer spending is pivotal to the overall health of the US economy as it accounts for nearly two-third of gross domestic product.

Today, Sotheby’s will report its quarterly earnings and McDonald’s will issue its October sales figures. Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day in the US, and while the stock markets are open, the bond market is closed. Only a few companies will report, including Parsley Energy, FMSA Holdings, Aecom Technology and Fossil Group.

On Wednesday, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, SeaWorld Entertainment, Rockwell Automation, Ares Management and Cisco Systems all report earnings. Thursday sees reporting by Wal-Mart Stores, Kohl’s Corporation, American DG Energy, Nordstrom, Weibo Corporation, US Geothermal and Viacom.

Also due for release are weekly jobless claims, September’s job openings and October’s Federal budget figures.