Investing.com -- Stocks rallied on Wednesday after more inflation readings showing prices cooling faster than expected bolstered investor sentiment that the Federal Reserve could end its interest rate increases.
Cooler than expected readings on consumer and producer prices and better than expected retail sales lifted sentiment. Major retailers are also reporting this week, with Target and TJX (NYSE: TJX ) beating expectations. Walmart and others will report starting tomorrow. Investors are listening carefully to what executives say about consumer spending trends as the holiday shopping season kicks off. Forecasts from industry groups have consumers spending more this holiday season, though the pace of spending growth is expected to slow somewhat.
Still, a resilient consumer has helped push the economy along. Fed officials, who meet next month for the last time this year to decide on interest rates, have been closely studying the data for signs their rapid rate hikes since early 2022 have helped push inflation back to their annual 2% target.
Futures markets widely expect the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged in December, and could begin cutting next spring if conditions continue to show improvement.
Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:
1. Retail earnings
Major retailers continue to report their quarterly results, and possibly their outlooks for the holiday quarter. Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT ) is expected to report earnings per share of $1.51 on revenue of $159.3 billion. Macy’s Inc (NYSE: M ) is expected to report flat profit and revenue of $4.79 billion. Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS ) is expected to report earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $3.6 billion.
2. Beazer Homes
Home builder Beazer Homes USA Inc (NYSE: BZH ) is expected to report earnings per share of $1.39 on revenue of $627.3 million.
3. Alibaba reports
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd ADR (NYSE: BABA ) is expected to report earnings per share of $15.39 on revenue of $224.9 billion.
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