Stock market rally meets retail sales and retail earnings: What to know this week

U.S. stocks are coming off of their best week since June, and Wall Street’s ability to extend the winning streak in days ahead likely hinges on news out of the retail sector.

Lighter inflation data rekindled investor hopes that a monetary policy shift is near, and key earnings results from retailers and the government’s October report on the sector could put that optimism to the test.

Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), and the Home Depot (HD) top a lengthy docket of companies scheduled to unveil third-quarter financials this week.

The Commerce Department will also publish its monthly retail sales report for October on Wednesday, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimating a headline increase of 1.0% after spending was flat during the prior month.

Bets that Federal Reserve policymakers will pull back on the pace and scale of interest rate hikes after October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed easing inflation last month helped propel the major averages towards sizable gains. The S&P…

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