Even though it's Friday, the market will have a meaty plateful of economic data to digest today. The

Producer Price Index and

Retail Sales report for April are scheduled for release before the opening bell. The PPI, a key indicator of inflation, measures the change in wholesale prices at the producer level. The index is broken down into separate components including commodity, industry, sector and stage of processing. Like most inflationary measures, it frequently moves markets.

The retail data, which measure the total number of sales at retail businesses, are used to predict personal consumption trends and make up a healthy portion of the

Gross Domestic Product; the report should have a significant impact on today's trading session.

Retail stocks received

quite a boost yesterday after fraternity favorites

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

and

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

posted stronger-than-expected sales figures. The

S&P Retail Index

was up 2.8% yesterday.

On the earnings front, apparel retailer

Nordstrom

(JWN) - Get Report

will issue its quarterly profit results today. According to research firm

Thomson Financial/First Call

, the Seattle-based company is expected to post first-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, as compared with 25 cents a share a year ago.

Nordstrom shares closed up 38 cents, or 2.1%, at $18.30 yesterday.

Economic Data

(

Forecasts are from

Reuters

. Times are Eastern. For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see

TSC's

Economic Databank.

)

  • 8:30 a.m.: Producer Price Index for April. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: +0.4%. Previous: -0.1%. Ex-food and energy: Forecast: +0.1%. Previous: +0.1%.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Retail Sales for April. Source: Census Bureau. Forecast: +0.2%. Previous: -0.2%. Ex-autos: Forecast: +0.4%. Previous: -0.1.
  • 10 a.m.: Consumer Sentiment Index for May preliminary. Source: University of Michigan. Forecast: 87.6. Previous: 88.4.