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Retail sales, Morgan Stanley earnings — What to know in markets Thursday

Heidi Chung
Reporter

Key data on the consumer and Morgan Stanley earnings will be in focus Thursday.

Investors will get another read on the health of the U.S. consumer on Thursday when the Commerce Department releases the final retail sales report for 2019. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect headline retail sales to have risen 0.3% during December, up from 0.2% in November. Core retail sales, excluding volatile auto and gas, are expected to accelerate 0.4% in December.

“We expect solid retail sales growth in December after two months of lackluster performance,” Credit Suisse said in a note Jan. 9. “Retail sales slowed markedly in the past two months after remarkable strength earlier last year. A pick-up in December should help support Q4 real consumption growth at a decent level of 2.3% (QoQ annualized). Part of the expected improvement in retail sales should come from non-store retailers and restaurant spending, two of the biggest discretionary categories.”

Information for stock in Morgan Stanley (MS) is displayed above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after the opening bell in New York, U.S., June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley’s (MS) quarterly results will round out big bank earnings for the week. The banking giant is expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.02 per share on $9.73 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Analysts also predict that Morgan Stanley’s wealth margin will be 26.8% during the most recent quarter, down from 28.4% in the third quarter.

Morgan Stanley shares rose 26% over the past 12 months and have underperformed the broader market which jumped 28% in the same time period. The options market is implying about a 3.2% one-day move for the stock following the announcement.

Other notable reports scheduled for Thursday include Charles Schwab (SCHW) before market open and CSX (CSX) after market close.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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