Stocks: Losing streak meets economic reports

July 15, 2011: 12:38 PM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wall Street faces a data-heavy schedule this week that is expected to bring more volatility to a market full of investors weary from six consecutive weeks of losses.

The government will release its closely watched May retail sales report on Tuesday and consumer inflation data on Wednesday. That's only two of the dozen or so reports investors will have to work through.

Portfolio managers said this week's data are going to be especially important, particularly since the past several weeks of reports have shown signs the U.S. economic recovery is in jeopardy.

"The [economic] drivers that pushed this market higher have faded," said Dean Barber, president of the Barber Financial Group.

This week's inflation numbers will be closely watched, as oil remains subbornly near $100 a barrel and other commodities such as copper and corn trade at record or near-record highs.

"If we get from the data this week paints a picture of high inflation, low economic growth, that's going to be pretty nasty for stocks," said Christopher Murphy, managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald.

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The disappointing economic reports are key to stocks' retreat since early May. The Dow and S&P fell for a sixth-consecutive week last week and the Nasdaq is now negative for 2011.

"People are definitely afraid," Murphy said. "We have been told told to buy the dips for the past nine months, but that is no longer working."

Along with the economic reports comequarterly corporate results from Other items Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500), Research in Motion (RIMM) and supermarket chain Kroger (KR, Fortune 500).

On the Docket

Tuesday: Investors will get the Commerce Department's retail sales report and the Labor Department's producer price index, also known as manufacturer inflation.

Economists forecast retail sales fell by 0.7% in May compared with a 0.5% rise reported in April, according to Briefing.com. The May producer price index is expected to have climbed 0.1% versus a 0.8% rise in April.

Consumer electronic retailer Best Buy is slated to report its fiscal first-quarter results before the market open. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Best Buy to have earned 33 cents a share.

Cantor Fitzgerald's Murphy said with the sluggish economic data and low consumer spending numbers, expectations are low for the electronics retailer. Best Buy shares are down 17% this year.

Wednesday: The Labor Department will release its consumer price index for May at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect consumer inflation ticked up by 0.1% in May, down from the 0.4% rise reported the month prior.

Also out Wednesday are the Empire State manufacturing index, and the Federal Reserve's industrial production and capacity utilization reports.

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Thursday: Investors will get initial unemployment claims at 8:30 a.m. ET from the Labor Department, along with May housing starts and building permits data from the Commerce Department. Economists expect weekly claims will fall to 421,000 from last week's reading of 427,000 claims.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release its June manufacturing survey at 10 a.m. ET.

Supermarket chain owner Kroger will report results before the opening bell, with analysts expecting earnings of 64 cents per share.

Reporting results after the close will be BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, which is expected to have earned $1.32 a share.

Friday: The University of Michigan will release its initial June consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for the index to fall to a reading of 73.5 from May's reading of 74.3. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,979.13 59.54 0.35%
Nasdaq 4,526.48 -1.03 -0.02%
S&P 500 1,986.51 4.91 0.25%
Treasuries 2.43 0.02 0.87%
Data as of 10:29pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.07 0.45%
Apple Inc 100.57 0.04 0.04%
General Electric Co 26.36 0.31 1.19%
Intel Corp 34.50 0.16 0.47%
Staples Inc 11.32 -0.30 -2.58%
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