Why Investors Should Closely Watch the March Retail Sales Report Next Week

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Curious about what you need to pay attention to in the markets?

Chris Versace, Real Money contributor weighed in on what he's watching in the markets. 

And, surprise, it's not just earnings season's kickoff. 

Versace said that he's going to be closely eyeing the March retail report. 

Watch the full video above for more.

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
It's been quite a week in the markets. We got jobless claims coming in at 6.6 million. We've got the Fed injecting more money to help businesses and others. And what should we be watching next week? Well, joining me today is Chris Versace, RealMoney contributor, to break down just that. So Chris, what are you watching next week?

Chris Versace:
Well, there's really a two-fold area to be looking at. One is the usual economic data that we're going to get. And considering where we are in the grips of the pandemic and what we're hearing from companies like McDonald's and Starbucks about disappointing March same-store comp sales, we're going to get the March retail sales report. And I think that's really going to give us some insight as to not only what consumers are spending. Is it toilet paper? Is it eating out? Most likely not on the second. How much have they shifted, excuse me, their spending online towards companies like Amazon, Farfetch, Chewy and the likes. So this is going to be a critical report, I think. And then of course, we have the real start of earning season as well next week.

Katherine Ross:
What are you watching earnings-wise? And what advice do you have for any investors looking at our earning season at this point?

Chris Versace:
Well, what I would say is this. I think you've got to prepare yourself for what's going to be ugly numbers, particularly given what we saw with the fall off, not so much in January and February, but really the back half of March. We heard that again from McDonald's and Starbucks where their businesses fell off to such a degree that they wound up reporting negative comps despite very robust businesses in January and February. And I think the key here is more companies than not are not going to issue new guidance. And I think that's going to create another round of uncertainty in the market as people try to wrap their hands around, what is the real earnings prospect for the S&P 500 during the quarter? And helping us shape some of this next week is really heavy on financials. So JP Morgan, for example, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs. We'll hear from some retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Johnson & Johnson. But again, this is just the beginning. So brace yourselves next week. It's going to be a wild ride.

Katherine Ross:
Chris, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. And of course, please stick up on the latest on the coronavirus over on TheStreet.com.

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