NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day, and the earnings season is winding down, but traders have a massive amount of economic data to contend with, including the GDP report that was released Friday.
Mike Khouw and Jill Malandrino of Action Alerts OPTIONS point out that housing and durable goods data will be key, due to interest rate hike speculation as low rates rates are considered to support those two sectors specifically. For quite some time, asset classes have been especially sensitive to rate hikes and the question of timing, and if it's one thing the market doesn't like, it's uncertainty.
Khouw notes the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day tends to be relatively quiet for the markets, but according to historical data, it's a good time to remain invested, and for options traders to look for opportunities in premium sales within a certain time frame. In short, don't "sell in May and go away."
While no companies in the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio will report earnings next week, Malandrino says there are other volatility events that could impact some of their prices. Among them, Sanford C. Bernstein is holding its 31st Annual Strategic Decision Conference, at which AAP holdings EOG Resources (EOG), Honeywell (HON), MasterCard (MA), 3M (MMM), and Starbucks (SBUX) will present.
Other stocks Malandrino and Khouw are watching outside of portfolio include, Autozone (AZO), Costco (COST), Michael Kors (KORS), Toll Brothers (TOL) and Gamestop (GME), all of which report earnings and are consumer related. Analysts expected consumer discretionary spending to improve due to gas prices' sharp decline, but, ultimately, retail sales have seen weakness, with consumers have been putting their fuel savings back in their own pockets -- perhaps because they fear lower gas prices won't last that long, or perhaps because they're putting that new-found money into the markets.