Americans are spending like crazy. Can the good times last?

1. Shop until you drop: The economy is booming because unemployment is low and people are s...

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 5:44 AM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 5:44 AM

1. Shop until you drop: The economy is booming because unemployment is low and people are spending more of their paychecks at Walmart, Macy's, Home Depot and a bunch of other retailers that report earnings this week.

Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the American economy, and there's no better indicator for how much people are shopping than the financial health of stores.

On Wednesday, the US government will report retail sales for July. The Commerce Department said consumer spending grew at a 4% pace in the second quarter, and May and June were particularly strong. Wall Street analysts expect retail sales remained solid in July, even though consumer sentiment dipped a bit.

Investors will pay particularly close attention to retailers' outlooks for the rest of the year to gauge how robustly consumers are expected to spend through the holidays. Higher inflation is beginning to eat into people's paychecks. Wage growth has remained tepid, yet gas prices are rising, and tariffs have boosted prices on everything from cars to soda.

Here's a rundown on who'll be reporting next week.

Macy's is staging an epic comeback thanks to a focus on e-commerce. Shares of Macy's are up 60% this year, making it the second-best-performing retailer in the S&P 500 — trailing only Amazon.

Macy's will report its results before the opening bell Wednesday. Investors will be looking for more evidence that sales growth is picking up and that store closures and cost cuts are boosting profits.

Walmart, which has emerged as a formidable player in online and mobile retail thanks to a series of acquisitions, reports its results Thursday. There are concerns that Walmart's digital momentum may be fading a bit, though, and that the company still has a long way to go to catch Amazon. The stock is down nearly 10% this year as a result.

But Walmart could benefit from its partnership with Chinese online retailer JD.com. Walmart has a 12% stake in the Alibaba rival. JD will report its latest results on Thursday.

Home Depot will report its earnings on Tuesday. The company, along with rival Lowe's, has proved to be somewhat Amazon-proof.

Many DIY consumers and professional builders still prefer to buy plywood, faucets and other big-ticket housing items at stores as opposed to on their phones. But Home Depot's stock has slumped lately on worries that the housing market may be peaking.

Struggling retailer JCPenney, department store chain Nordstrom and Coach owner Tapestry will also report their latest earnings. Tapestry also owns the Kate Spade brand, and this will be the first time the company reports results since Kate Spade's death in June.

Strong retail sales could be good news for the stock market and could help lift it to a new record. The S&P 500 is about 1% below the record it hit in late January.

"The fundamental strength of the consumer and retail sales doesn't appear to be fully baked in to the stocks," said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist with CFRA, in a report. "Retail sales from clothing stores, department stores and online have been strong in the past three months and will be key in the success of retailers this quarter."

2. Tesla's big meeting? Elon Musk's proposal to take the electric car company private could stay in the headlines this week. The Tesla board of directors is reportedly meeting with financial advisers to formalize a plan.

Musk tweeted last week that he wants to take Tesla private. In a note to employees, he cited the "enormous pressure" of Wall Street's expectations.

3. Tracking tech: They may not be as sexy as FANG, but some other major tech companies report earnings this week.

Tencent will report earnings on Wednesday. The Chinese tech conglomerate, which owns the chat app WeChat, reported massive earnings last quarter, but analysts don't expect that this time. The stock is down 6% since it last reported earnings in May over fears of slowing growth and an overall weakness in the tech sector.

Cisco also reports on Wednesday, with investors eying its comeback. On Thursday, the red-hot chip-maker Nvidia reports earnings. The stock is up 30% year-to-date.

4. Tractors and tariffs: John Deere reports earnings Friday. It had a disappointing second quarter because of increasing costs of materials, and it could face another rough quarter because of the Trump administration's tariffs and trade wars that could cause farmers to delay purchases of new equipment.

5. Equifax meeting: The embattled company is holding an investor meeting in New York City on Monday. The company is still reeling from a massive security hack that exposed the private information, like tax IDs and driver's license details, of 145.5 million customers.

6. Coming this week:

Monday — Equifax investor meeting

Tuesday — Home Depot earnings

Wednesday — Macy's, Cisco and Tencent earnings

Thursday — JCPenney, Nordstrom, Walmart and Nvidia earnings

Friday — Deere earnings, consumer sentiment

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697182

Reported Deaths: 8169
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1427711862
Ramsey59431953
Dakota53075503
Anoka48987486
Washington31228315
Stearns25428242
St. Louis20900339
Scott20039146
Wright18954165
Olmsted16269112
Sherburne13840106
Carver1237052
Clay936897
Rice9278125
Blue Earth888747
Crow Wing8070102
Kandiyohi753292
Chisago733858
Otter Tail689897
Benton6653102
Mower576238
Winona564852
Goodhue560581
Douglas549484
Beltrami534672
Itasca532572
Steele520221
McLeod519665
Isanti500470
Morrison478263
Nobles455650
Becker455060
Polk444575
Freeborn438142
Lyon402454
Carlton399160
Nicollet387848
Pine384026
Mille Lacs363860
Brown358244
Cass355536
Le Sueur348230
Todd333034
Meeker314049
Waseca297626
Martin271633
Wabasha25005
Dodge24865
Hubbard241941
Roseau238224
Houston211217
Redwood206642
Fillmore204510
Renville204248
Pennington196022
Wadena192927
Faribault184925
Sibley180310
Cottonwood179424
Chippewa173439
Kanabec168329
Aitkin159239
Watonwan157211
Rock142919
Jackson136112
Pope13378
Yellow Medicine128720
Pipestone126126
Koochiching125119
Swift120319
Murray117610
Stevens110011
Clearwater109218
Marshall107619
Lake94321
Wilkin91014
Lac qui Parle89424
Mahnomen7339
Big Stone7024
Grant6938
Norman6829
Lincoln6724
Kittson54222
Unassigned52893
Red Lake5067
Traverse4375
Lake of the Woods4204
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 443535

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Unassigned50150
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
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Decatur76710
Fremont76511
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