Trade data will take center stage this week as Wall Street's focus moves beyond first-quarter earnings season.
The shift comes after
got towed to the junk-bond yard last week, even as the economy turned in an impressive performance on the jobs front.
March wholesale inventories numbers start the action on Monday. The market expects a gain of 0.8%, up from 0.6% in February.
Next, trade balance and Treasury budget data set for release on Wednesday could start a chain reaction from currencies to bonds to stocks. The consensus estimate for the trade balance is a deficit of $61.5 billion, down from $61 billion.
Paul Mendelsohn, strategist for Windham Financial, says the trade data will be of particular importance because it arrives a day before the Treasury 10-year note auction, where the demand on the part of foreign central banks for U.S. bonds will be measured.
"The real bubble spiraling out of control is the trade and current account deficits," says Mendelsohn, who adds that the recent rise in 10-year Treasury yields may be whetting the appetites of foreign, or indirect, bidders.
Since it includes tax season, April's Treasury budget is the most widely watched of the year. Nevertheless, it is also one of the few reports that economists generally predict correctly by using daily data in the Daily Treasury Statement. The market is expecting a $50 billion surplus.
The health of the consumer will once again be in the spotlight when April retail sales data arrive on Thursday. The expectation is for a rise of 0.5%, up from 0.3% last month.
Friday brings business inventories for March, along with import and export prices in April. Net exports are considered to be a volatile component of GDP, and this report is one of its few early indicators.
Earnings season winds down in the coming week. Nevertheless, the week does include reports from
Traders will hear earnings reports on Monday from
will also be reporting on Monday. Analysts expect the refiner to earn 55 cents for the quarter, down from 75 cents last year.
Tuesday will see earnings releases from the likes of
Tuesday's marquee earnings report will undoubtedly come from tech bellwether Cisco. Analysts expect third-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, up from 19 cents, on revenue of $6.16 billion.
and Disney will be reporting earnings. Analysts are looking for the Mouse House to earn 31 cents for the quarter, up from 26 cents last year, on $7.76 billion in revenue.
Thursday shapes up to be the last big earnings day of the season, with reports from
Mega-retailer Wal-Mart is due to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday. Consensus estimates call for a per-share profit of 56 cents, up from 50 cents last year, on $72 billion in sales.
Friday is a relatively light day on the earnings calendar, with only a few notable names weighing in, such as
Finally, market veteran Larry Wachtel of Wachovia reminds investors that May is historically not the friendliest month for stocks because, as the old adage says, they tend to sell in May and go away. But he adds that "April is usually a good month, and this year it was awful, so you never can tell."