Here's the Sector That Will Affect Markets the Most This Week

I'm continuing my close watch of the markets for the week ahead, including some of the most impactful earnings reports that will act as a bellwether for the broader economy.

Speaking of which...

Despite recovering from last week's losses Monday morning, following Trump's tweet indicating progress in trade talks, the market has been trending down today as investors weigh possible signs of a weakening economy, more earning reports, and a renewed fall of the Treasury yields.

Additionally, the Fed is scheduled to release minutes from its July meeting tomorrow, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be speaking on Friday morning to kick off the Fed's very own Jackson Hole Symposium. Traders have a positive feeling about how the Fed chair will address their ability to backstop trade uncertainties.

While bearing all that in mind, let's take a look at what's coming next and the sector that's going to have the greatest impact on markets...[mmpazkzone name="in-story" network="9794" site="307044" id="137008" type="4"]

This Week's Market-Moving Reports

Earnings season winds down with retail stocks taking center stage. The behemoth of the retail sector, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), kicked things off last week with stellar results, and the stock was rewarded with a 6%-plus leap.

In a tale of the "haves vs. the have-nots," the results for Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) couldn't have been more of contrast to Walmart. The stock was slammed to 10-year lows, losing 18% off of already depressed values.

Profit from the initiative Senior Treasury Official Craig Phillips calls "core" to U.S. housing policy.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) reports on Wednesday before the open. Now Target will try to keep its hat firmly in "the haves" ring. It would like to be mentioned in the same breath with Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart, but the wild swings over the last nine months - as it has dropped from $90 per share down to $60 and back up again - show how divided traders and investors are about the company.

With Walmart setting a very tough standard last week, Target will have to bring in some really strong numbers just to keep up...

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reported today before the open. With direct competitor Lowe's Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) earnings following one day later, we'll learn much about the state of retail health from this big-box home improvement duopoly.

Will tariff issues (ongoing fees and/or the delay on additional tariffs) push these strong retailers around? Will Home Depot continue to be the more valued stock? A bad result from both could pass a very negative judgment on the tariff externalities. On the other hand, good results could embolden those efforts.

Struggling high-end shop Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), struggling department store Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), and struggling specialty retailer Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) all report this week.

Notice a theme?

Will any of these beleaguered though well-known brands be able to stem the tide? After mall stalwart Macy's struggled, it's unlikely that all three could post strong numbers. Even if one or two of them show modest recovery, that would be seen as a win in the retail world.

One retail company reporting this week that has been doing well until a recent pullback is TJX Cos. Inc. (NYSE: TJX), the owner of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Sense, and other discounters. The discounters sector has weathered the retail storm better than most, and a good result from TJX would not be a surprise.

And that wraps up my biggest earnings to watch this week. Be sure to check in for more updates as we get closer and closer to the end of earnings season.

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About the Author

D.R. Barton, Jr., Technical Trading Specialist for Money Map Press, is a world-renowned authority on technical trading with 25 years of experience. He spent the first part of his career as a chemical engineer with DuPont. During this time, he researched and developed the trading secrets that led to his first successful research service. Thanks to the wealth he was able to create for himself and his followers, D.R. retired early to pursue his passion for investing and showing fellow investors how to build toward financial freedom.

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