INVESTORS will watch for any change in the economic outlook from housing data and remarks by various Federal Reserve speakers this week, while retailers will take over on the earnings front as the first-quarter reporting season trickles to its end.
The highlight comes at the end of the week with Fed chair Janet Yellen speaking on the economic outlook on Friday. Any hint of a downgrade to the economy could signal a delay in monetary policy tightening; central bank watchers now expect the Fed to begin raising interest rates in September.
On the earnings front, the week’s top billing will be the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which will report early tomorrow.
The results will come less than a week after data showed US retail sales were flat in April, the latest sign the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after a very soft first quarter.