Investing.com - Here are the top three things to know that could rock markets.
1. Retail Sales Eyed
Retail sales figures will give investors clues into the health of the consumer, whose willingness to spend has kept the U.S. economy above water despite headwinds from the economic slowdown.
The Commerce Department will release the numbers at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).
On average, economists expect that retail sales rose 0.3% last month, compared with a 0.1% rise in July. The retail sales control group, which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP, is expected to have risen 0.3% from last month's 1% print.
2. Consumer Sentiment, Business Inventories Due
Consumer sentiment data will also provide investors with further insight into how Americans are feeling about the economy.
The preliminary measure of the University of Michigan’s September consumer sentiment index, due at 10:00 AM ET, is forecast to show a reading of 90.9, up slightly from last month’s final reading of 89.8. (There are two readings of consumer sentiment each month.)
At time same time, the Commerce Department is expected to report that business inventories increased 0.3% in August, up from no change in July.
3. Rig Counts on Tap
The weekly instalment of drilling activity from Baker Hughes on Friday will provide investors with clues on U.S. oil production, which remains just off record highs of 12.5 million barrels.
Data last week showed the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. fell by 4 to 738.
The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.
Crude futures on Thursday settled 1.2% lower at $55.09 a barrel.© Reuters.
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