Home sales data could present a warning sign to the Fed

As U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday and crude oil fell to a nine-month low on global supply concerns, Boris Schlossberg, BK Asset Management's managing director of foreign exchange strategy, discussed three items he is watching for in the market on Wednesday.

1. Existing home sales

Shortly after the opening bell on Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors is set to publish its existing home sales figure for the month of May.

"Since the beginning of the year, existing homes have been in a seesaw battle; up one month, down the next," Schlossberg said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Last month's report disappointed estimates; a second straight month of disappointing data would paint a more negative picture of the U.S. consumer, Schlossberg said.

Furthermore, a number that misses estimates may even make the Federal Reserve hesitate about raising its federal funds target rate again this year, he added.

"A second consecutive month of declines could be troubling for GDP growth in [the second half] of 2017 and could be a warning sign to the Fed to ease up on tightening."

Economists anticipate existing home sales to decline month-over-month.

2. CarMax

Used-car retailer CarMax reports quarterly earnings shortly after the opening bell on Wednesday, and Schlossberg will be watching for the results from the used vehicle retailer, as they could be a "bellwether to the U.S. consumer."

"CarMax has done well because of its strong competitive position and its strong management, but it could be running into a wall of stagnation as far as car buying goes. If earnings tomorrow disappoint, it could be a key tell sign about the weakness of the U.S. consumer," he said Thursday.

Analysts expect CarMax to post earnings of 98 cents per share, according to FactSet estimates. The $59 stock carries an average analyst price target of $66.19.

3. Crude oil

Crude oil fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday to nine-month lows, settling below $44 per barrel. The commodity that's already fallen over 19 percent year to date is in a "panic mode," Schlossberg said.

He will be watching for the Energy Information Administration's inventory reported Wednesday after the opening bell.

"If they show a big build, we could see oil head all the way down to $40 per barrel, and that could be a very bad sign for all the oil speculators out there," he said.

TradingAnalysis.com founder Todd Gordon on Tuesday said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" that he planned to make a bet against the popular XLE energy exchange-traded fund, as he sees crude oil heading lower.

Videos

Trades to Watch

Trader Bios

About

Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

Read more

Connect