As all three major U.S. indices finished the week notching record closing highs despite a mixed employment report, Chantico Global CEO Gina Sanchez breaks down three things she will be watching for in the week ahead.
1. Factory orders data
On Monday, the Commerce Department publishes factory orders data for the month of April shortly after the opening bell, and Sanchez is watching to see if the economic indicator's figures will show growth.
"Manufacturing and construction have been showing some signs of slowing. April manufacturing slipped, lowering their overall year-end growth numbers," she said Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation," adding that a continuation of this trend could spell trouble for copper, which has a variety of uses in manufacturing.
Factory orders in March, the last month recorded, increased for the fourth straight month and showed growth of 5.2 percent year over year.
2. Jobless claims
The Department of Labor publishes its weekly jobless claims on Thursday. Sanchez is watching closely to see how the data pans out, after Friday's employment report showed unemployment fell but fewer jobs were created last month than economists had expected.
"We've lately seen a trend of slightly higher jobless claims," Sanchez said Friday. "However, labor markets remain tight and Americans are spending more, factories have increased outputs and home sales are strong. This is consistent with the beginning of a recovery."
This week's jobless claims came in higher than expected.
Another measure of labor market health is anticipated next week: The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to publish its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday, which broadly measures job openings in the U.S.
3. Mortgage applications
The Mortgage Bankers Association publishes its weekly Mortgage Applications Survey on Wednesday, and Sanchez is watching to see whether applications pick up.
"Mortgage rates have been higher than they were a year ago. However, they have been falling recently along with the long end of the retail curve," she said Friday.
Indeed, mortgage application volume is still nearly 14 percent below levels seen one year ago, although they did rise last month by 2 percent.
"30-year fixed mortgages dropped below 4 percent, and this should be good for mortgage applications," she said, adding that such positive activity would bode well for homebuilders like the ITB, the popular exchange-traded fund tracking homebuilder stocks.