Last week was full of misery and woe for investors. Threats from China as well as poor economic data created a nervous environment going into the new year. This week should see more of the same. None of the global issues have really been cured and the data released this week could really tip things off in the wrong direction.
That’s because this week is all about the consumer. More importantly, just how much the consumer spent over the critical holiday season. Retail sales for the last month will be reported at the end of the week. And based on some early grumbling and holiday sales data, that number might not be so hot. That, plus consumer sentiment figures, could add to overall nervousness that the U.S. economy may be stalling.
As for earnings, it’s kick off time for the next round of earnings seasons. What’s important here is that many firms will be providing their full year 2015 numbers. That’s a far more accurate depiction of just how they did than quarterly figures. Any bad surprises here and it could sink the markets once again.