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Retail sales — What to know in markets Wednesday

Heidi Chung
Reporter

Key consumer spending data will take center stage on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department will be releasing retail sales data for April ahead of the market open, and investors will get a peek into the health of the American consumer. After advancing 1.6% in March from the prior month, economists are predicting a more modest jump of 0.2% in April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Consumer confidence also rose more than expected in April, providing some momentum for the consumer going into the second quarter. Consumers were able to regain some lost confidence after some positive developments in equity markets,” Wells Fargo wrote in a note on Friday. “Despite the strong data in March, it was not enough to prevent real consumption growth from slowing in the first quarter—PCE grew at an annualized pace of 1.2%. We look for a 0.2% increase in April retail sales.”

UBS also expects strength in April’s data. “We forecast a solid retail sales report for April, extending the March rebound in consumer spending. Auto sales fell, but we expect strength elsewhere in the report.”

Meanwhile, some of the big corporate earnings reports scheduled for Wednesday include Alibaba (BABA) and Macy’s (M) before market open, and Cisco (CSCO) after market close.

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

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