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Retail and consumers — What you need to know in markets on Friday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The week will close out with more news on the consumer class.

In the morning, we’ll get J.C. Penney (JCP) rounding out a full week of retail earnings, and at 10:00 a.m. ET we’ll also get the final reading on consumer sentiment in February from the University of Michigan.

Elsewhere in economic data, the latest report on existing home sales will also cross the tape at 10 a.m. ET.

On Thursday, we got the 10th straight record close for the Dow, though the last two days have seen just fractional advances for the blue-chip index.

And while the market’s least-favored option on taxes from the Trump administration — a border-adjustment tax — got some positive commentary from the President in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, markets still seem inclined to give the White House the benefit of the doubt.

Buffett on deck

On Saturday morning, Warren Buffett is expected to publish his latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) shareholders.

The letter, one of the most widely-read pieces of market commentary each year, is sure to see Buffett address the new administration, the scandal at Wells Fargo, and the company’s recent acquisition of shares in airline stocks and Apple (AAPL).

But it also seems likely that Buffett will feel inclined to comment on something a bit broader than the goings on of the Berkshire portfolio: the stock market.

After the election, Buffett said Berkshire bought about $12 billion worth of common stocks, which was largely his decision. This came after an election that went against both what markets expected to happen and what Buffett himself had been pulling for.

And the recent surge in stocks has not only sent each of the major US indexes to record highs, but the speed at which this has happened has some warning about the valuation now assigned US stocks.

Looking at what Buffett and Berkshire have done since the election could have some thinking they are not only unconcerned about any potential risks around the Trump administration, but outright bullish.

But as stocks reach the eighth year of the current post-crisis bull run, it seems unlikely that Buffett would simply let his recent moves, or new records in the market, pass without comment.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

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