Jennifer Melendez struggles to carry bags of goods at the Black Thursday sale at the Toys 'R' Us store in Times Square November 22, 2012 in New York City. - 

U.S. retail sales rose three-tenths of a percent in November.

Adolpho Laurenti, deputy chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, is encouraged by the latest data which show gains in electronics and clothing sales: "Those are important [areas] because they show that families have some disposable income available," he says, "That's probably stemming from improvements in the housing market [and] in the job market."

Laurenti said the other piece of economic news he is keeping tabs on is the announcementfrom the Federal Reserve that it will target specific figures for unemployment and inflation.

"It is a quite historic change... It makes the Federal Reserve more transparent, more credible, it also offers some new risk, but on balance it really affirms what we already knew, that the Fed is fully committed," says Laurenti. 

Follow Jeff Horwich at @jeffhorwich