This Week: JPMorgan earns, retail sales, housing starts

JPMorgan Chase reports its first-quarter results Wednesday

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

ANOTHER SOLID QUARTER?

Wall Street expects that JPMorgan Chase’s latest quarterly report card will show the bank is off to a strong start this year.

Analysts predict the company’s first-quarter earnings and revenue improved from a year earlier, when the pandemic walloped the economy and prompted big banks to set aside funds to cover potential loan losses. JPMorgan released some of those funds in the fourth quarter of 2020, which helped it post a record profit for the quarter. JPMorgan serves up its quarterly results Wednesday.

SIZING UP RETAIL SALES

The Commerce Department issues its March tally of U.S. retail sales Thursday.

Economists project retail spending jumped 5.4% last month after falling 3% in February, when bad weather kept some shoppers away from stores. The distribution of $1,400 direct payments to millions of Americans as part of the federal government’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package likely helped fuel a pickup in retail spending in March.

Retail sales, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Oct. -0.1

Nov. -1.3

Dec. -1.3

Jan. 7.6

Feb. -3.0

March (est.) 5.4

Source: FactSet

HOME CONSTRUCTION

New government data on residential construction should provide insight into the state of the new-home market.

The Commerce Department is expected to report Friday that builders broke ground on new apartments and single-family homes in March at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.63 million. That would be faster than the pace in February, when severe winter weather in much of the country pushed home construction down 10.3% to a rate of 1.42 million units.

Housing starts, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

Oct. 1,530,000

Nov. 1,553,000

Dec. 1,670,000

Jan. 1,584,000

Feb. 1,421,000

March (est.) 1,634,000

Source: FactSet