Any more misses in retailers' earnings Thursday could stir up bigger concerns about the consumer, but market focus may tilt toward politics — as Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
"I don't think it's going to be a back-breaker if they don't get along, but I think the path the election has taken has soured consumers' moods in general. The discord, the uncertainty, the fighting, the lack of overwhelming support for any one candidate is cause for a little bit of concern. Not a lot, but it's enough to dampen moods a little," said Anthony Valeri, investment strategist at LPL Financial. "This is a second, maybe third-tier factor on investors' minds."
Ryan has said he is not ready to support GOP candidate Trump. But ahead of the meeting, Ryan said he is hoping to help unify the Republican party. Trump and Ryan are far apart on many issues including austerity and debt. Valeri said if it looks like Ryan and Trump could share some policy in common, it would give investors more confidence in the Republican side of the race.