We're rounding out the end of the earnings season and it's retail's turn to step up to the plate and show us what it's got. Prepare for some pain, though, as the sector struggles with store closures, weak traffic, and consumers reluctant to part with their cash.
"It's been  years since Amazon (AMZN) started and the bricks-and-mortars have been hanging on but there's this creeping Armageddon," Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America, said in a phone call. "I think you'll surely see that in the earnings reports next week."
Investors have reason to worry. Retail sales fell in two of the first three months of the year even as consumer confidence hit multi-year highs. Total retail sales increased 0.9% over the first quarter with the largest gains seen in building and DIY materials, health and personal care stores, and gas stations.
Investors will get a reading from the U.S. government on retail sales in April, the beginning of the second quarter, on Friday. Analysts anticipate a rebound after declining sales in March and February. Consensus is for 0.6% growth to the headline number.
The U.S. economy has seen pockets of weakness in recent months even as the labor market charges toward full employment, noted James "Rev Shark" Deporre over on our premium site Real Money. Get a free trial subscription to Real Money.