Patti Domm is CNBC executive news editor, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy. Prior to joining CNBC in 1999 as senior news editor, Domm was the equities editor for the Americas at Reuters. She was also Wall Street editor at Reuters, reporting on mergers, acquisitions and the Street. She also edited three CNBC books on personal investing. Domm serves on the board of the Financial Womens Association of New York.
The American consumer is a major theme Thursday, as chain stores report their monthly sales.
A report on the health of the service sector, and ADP's private sector jobs report are of big interest to markets that are already counting down to Friday's July employment report.
The monthly sales reports will be issued by car makers throughout the day and are expected to show an annualized selling rate of 11.4 million vehicles, up from 11.1 million last month.
Economic reports on jobs, manufacturing and the consumer could be what trips up stocks in the week ahead, deflating some of July's 7 percent gain.
Stocks head into the final day of July with the best monthly gain in a year, yet July's hot performance has only sparked debate about what August will bring.
Weekly jobless claims will again be a big event for Thursday's markets, and economists think the number will not really show any improvement.
Durable goods orders for June due Wednesday could have as much directional sway with stocks as the flood of earnings news coming from companies like Boeing, Conoco Phillips and Comcast.
Earnings news Tuesday may again be the catalyst for a stock market that's showing improving technical strength.
With the European bank stress tests out of the way, investors may shift their focus to what's got the stock market perking up in the last couple of days.
Wall Street will be closely watching the results of the European bank stress tests on Friday even as the deluge of earnings continue.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.
Dominic Chu is a markets reporter for CNBC.
Evelyn Cheng is a markets writer for CNBC.
Sara Eisen is a correspondent for CNBC, focusing on currencies and the global consumer.