Retail earnings kickoff: what to watch

It may feel like earnings season is coming to a close, but one important sector is just getting started.

Many of the country's largest retailers -- including Macy's, Nordstrom, Kohl's, J.C. Penney, and Ralph Lauren -- report quarterly earnings this week.

It's no secret that retail started the year on the wrong foot. A cautious consumer, a stronger dollar, and the threat from e-commerce sites like Amazon all weighed on retailers' top line.

But strength in the labor market and July's blowout jobs report could mean brick and mortar stores saw an uptick in last quarter's sales.

In this web exclusive, "Halftime Report" expert Jim Lebenthal discusses key areas investors should focus on as retailers get set to report their earnings.