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Retailers, Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales: 3 Things to Watch

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By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) will get to fly its 737 Max jets once again, but with Covid-19 cases spiking every day in the U.S., the question is when.

Stocks pared gains on Wednesday with the Dow ending in red territory. The U.S. recorded more than a quarter of a million deaths from coronavirus, a grim milestone in the eight-month pandemic as public health professionals urge people to give up on holiday gatherings. Boeing shares fell 3%.

The Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is just a week away. Positive news about vaccines has countered negative headlines about the spread of the virus as well as President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election.

Retail has been a bright spot in recent earnings, as e-commerce sales help stores overcome lower foot traffic. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) beat expectations on Wednesday, and more retailers are due to report Thursday.

Here are three things that could affect the markets tomorrow:

1. Retailer earnings in the spotlight

Warehouse club BJs Wholesale Club Holdings Inc (NYSE:BJ) and department store giant Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) report in the morning. Analysts tracked by Investing.com expect earnings per share of 65 cents for BJ’s Wholesale on revenue of $3.7 billion. Macy’s is seen reporting a loss of 84 cents a share on revenue of $3.9 billion.

Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST) is seen reporting earrings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $3.4 billion.

2. Jobless claims seen coming in about the same as before

Thursday is the day we get unemployment numbers for the prior week. Initial claims are expected to be 707,000, not much changed from the prior week as households and businesses continue to struggle with the aftermath of pandemic shutdowns and new shutdowns in some locations.

Continuing claims are expected to be 6.47 million, slightly lower than the prior week as joblessness continues to remain elevated. Congress has continued to waffle on approving a new round of economic stimulus that could aid families and businesses.

3. Existing home sales hint at consumer spending

A feature of the pandemic has been a move of households from urban centers to the suburbs, boosting shares of homebuilders but also sales of existing homes. On Thursday, existing home sales for October are due out. They are expected to be 6.4 million, adding to the similarly strong trend in September.

As with retailer earnings, existing home sales are a barometer of consumer spending power. Disappointing data on that front weighed on stocks earlier this week.

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