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By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com -- Stocks sold off after Wednesday's release of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes, which revealed the central bank could start tapering its bond buying program later this year.
The news comes as a number of large retailers report their earnings for the recent quarter, largely beating expectations in some cases despite difficult comparisons to last year.
The Fed will base its decision largely on its assessment of the health of the labor market, and it indicated there is still some ground to cover. "Most participants judged that the Committee's standard of 'substantial further progress' toward the maximum-employment goal had not yet been met," according to the Fed's minutes.
Next week, members of the Fed will gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for an annual symposium, where Chair Jerome Powell is expected to add some details to the evolving tapering plans.
Oil prices weakened after new data that showed a larger-than-expected decline in weekly crude inventories, but an unexpected build in gasoline inventories. U.S. Crude inventories dropped by 3.234 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations for a draw of 1.055 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
More retail earnings are due out Thursday along with the typical release of jobless claim data from the prior week. Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:
1. Department store earnings
Kohls Corp (NYSE:KSS) is expected to announce second-quarter earnings per share of $1.17 on revenue of $3.98 billion, while Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) is seen posting revenue of $4.97 billion and earnings per share of 18 cents. Department stores have been on a rebound since being forced to shut down last year because of public health directives. Analysts will be listening to hear if executives say anything about how back to school shopping season is shaping up.
2. Luxury earnings
Tapestry (NYSE:TPR), the parent of Coach , Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, is seen clocking an EPS of 68 cents on revenue of $1.55 billion in the fourth quarter, according to analysts tracked by Investing.com. Luxury goods makers are benefiting from the back to the office trend, though could get derailed as more companies push back their start dates.
3. Warehouse club earnings
BJs Wholesale Club Holdings Inc (NYSE:BJ), the popular warehouse club, is expected to book second-quarter revenue of $3.79 billion and EPS of 63 cents.