Top 3 Things To Watch For May 15 – Stock Market Today


It was quite a comeback for the Dow today as investors finally decided to dip back into financial stocks. Bulls will hope that the same sentiment that was able to shrug off a rise of 3 million in jobless claims today will be on hand tomorrow, with more devasting data expected.
Here are three things that could move the stock market.

1. Consumer in Focus
Retailers without a big online presence will be hoping measures to reopen across the country will start paying dividends quickly. The market will get see what is expected to be another historically band month for sales. The Commerce Department will report the April retail sales figures at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Economists expect that retail sales plunged 12% last month, according to forecasts compiled by That would be the biggest drop ever, taking the top spot from March’s dive of 8.4%. Core retail sales, which exclude autos, are forecast to have dropped 8.6%, compared with a 4.2% drop in March. There will be more shopping data when the University of Michigan issues its preliminary measure of May consumer confidence at 10:00 AM ET.

The consumer sentiment index is seen dropping to 68 from 71.8 in April. That would still be well off the lows seen during the Financial Crisis and the early 1980s. And the Michigan consumer expectations index is forecast to tick up to 71.8 from 70.1 last month.

2. JOLTS, Empire Manufacturing on the Cards
Along with indicators on retail there will be numbers on the labor market and manufacturing. At 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT), the Labor Department will release its March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Job openings, voluntary quits and hires will likely have dropped sharply.


At 8:30 AM ET, the New York Fed will release its measure of manufacturing in the region. The May Empire State Manufacturing Index is seen coming in at -63.50, up slightly from -78.20 in April. And at 9:15 AM ET, April numbers on industrial production and capacity utilization arrive.

3. Oil Rig Count Likely to Dip Again
Oil prices settled higher thanks to some optimism on demand from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). The specter of negative prices has receded as a drop in total U.S. crude stockpiles and inventories as the Cushing, Okla. hub eased the pressure of storage constraints.

Investors will get another glimpse of how production is faring tomorrow when Baker Hughes issues its measure of rig activity. Last week the oil rig count dropped to 292, the first time it had fallen below 300 since the Great recession.


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