Monthly sales, jobless claims on tap

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Today is the busiest session of the week in terms of economic reports, with same-store sales and initial jobless claims on the schedule.

Early in the morning, retailers will report April sales for stores open at least a year. The numbers could affect trading throughout the industry.

The Labor Department follows with initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect a reading of 340,000, up from 336,000 last week. Lower numbers would be considered bullish.

Natural-gas inventories will also be reported at 10:30 a.m. ET, which could sway sentiment in the energy sector.

The only potentially important event scheduled for tomorrow is a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as the market opens at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Next week remains relatively uneventful, though Monday's retail sales report by the Commerce Department could affect trading.

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