US stocks bounced last Friday in an attempt to erase the weekly losses as investors positioned for the Fed’s Chair speech and April Retail Sales data.
The week ahead is full of important economic data and events that will have an impact on the stock market. Out of everything, two stand out: FOMC members and Fed’s Chair Powell speeches and the April Retail Sales data.
FOMC members and Fed Chair Powell to give important speeches
This week, FOMC members are very active. Important speeches from important committee members will shape the stock market’s price action in the days to come.
It all starts today with FOMC member Williams speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Secondary and Capital Markets Conference in New York. John Williams is the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, and, at the same time, he heads the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, one of the most influential banks. Market participants closely monitor his views on the current tightening cycle.
Jim Bullard follows on Tuesday with a speech about the economic outlook and monetary policy. He is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and one of the most hawkish FOMC members.
Later on Tuesday, the Fed’s Chair, Jerome Powell, is due to speak on inflation in New York at the wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival. Inflation is the main concern to financial markets and Powell’s view on inflation is set to move the stock market.
April Retail Sales data key for economic projections
Still on Tuesday, the Retail Sales for the month of April are announced. The market expects an increase by 1.5%, following an advance of 0.5% in the previous month.
The consumer is the engine for economic growth, and the Fed’s monetary policy tightening threatens the economy with a hard landing. If that is to be the case, the consumer data would be the first one to show it, so this makes Tuesday’s Retail Sales data critical for the stock market’s direction.