NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jobs and retail data take the spotlight once again in the Trading Week Ahead.
JOLTS, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, is the Labor Department's report on all positions that are opened (not filled). Traders pay attention to this data because it provides additional insight on the labor market.
Retail Sales data is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and is the total receipts at retail and food services stores. Since consumer spending is such a big chunk of the GDP, analysts view this as an important measure of economic health.
TheStreet's Mike Khouw and Jill Malandrino of Action Alerts OPTIONS say retail spending and manufacturing data are keys to watch because trading has centered around interest rate hike speculation. However, Khouw pointed out that inflation is where the Fed focuses as it considers an interest rate hike.
The inflation target is for 2-3%, and we are well below that.
The earnings calendar is relatively quiet. Three stocks Khouw and Malandrino highlight are Hovnanian (HOV), Lululemon (LULU) and ExOne (XONE). Hovnanian has unperformed virtually all the homebuilders, a group that has outperformed the market this year.
This sector is especially sensitive to higher rates.
Lululemon is a leader in the athleisure trend and beat earnings last quarter.
Retail earnings have been lackluster this quarter, so the key will be to see if Lululemon can continue to outperform. ExOne is in the 3D printing space, and while it is a fascinating sector to watch for future product implementation, the stocks have has been under a lot pressure.
While short interest has been falling a bit in the group, it has increased in ExOne, and that makes it interesting to watch following its earnings reportt. Short interest in ExOne is near 40%, and that could set up for a short squeeze, in which the stock moves rapidly higher.