By Bryan McCormick
In addition to the regular weekly retail sales reports, today's economic calendar will include data on small-business optimism, international trade, and import and export prices.
The National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Optimism Index will be released at 7:30 a.m. ET. The index's so-called headline number for March came in at 94.5. If April's release is higher, notably if well over 95, it would be bullish. A reading below 94 or lower would be bearish.
At 7:45 a.m. ET, the ICSC/Goldman Store Sales report will be released. There are two parts to the report, the week-over-week and year-over-year comparisons. Most traders focus on the year-over-year number because it is a better indicator of the longer-term trend.
The last week-over-week reading was a 2.3 percent gain. The year-over-year data in the previous report showed a gain of 2.8 percent. Stronger-than-expected positive numbers would be seen as bullish, while negative numbers would be bearish.
International Trade comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The trade gap is expected to drop to -$44.5 billion, from the previous -$46.3 billion. The estimates range from a bearish gap of -$50 billion to an optimistic -$41 billion.
Import and Export Prices will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Export prices are expected to rise by 0.8 percent and import prices by 2.2 percent. This would be an inflationary scenario as export prices would rise more slowly than imports.
At the high end, export prices are seen rising by 1.5 percent and, at the low end, import prices are seen rising by 0.8 percent. This would be the most bullish scenario, where export prices are rising faster than imports.
Redbook Store Sales will be reported at 8:55 a.m. ET. As with the ICSC-Goldman report, there are two components to watch, the more volatile month-over-month change and the year-over-year change number, which shows the broader trend best.
The last month-over-month change was a loss of -0.6 percent. The previous report's year-over-year data showed a gain of 0.5 percent. Negative numbers in either series would be bearish.