[video] Quick Take: Retail Sales Move Higher, but Macy's Layoffs Signal Caution

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After a frenzied day of selling to start the week, markets are rebounding nicely on Tuesday. 

Examining December's retail sales figures, Cuttone & Company's Senior Vice President Keith Bliss told TheStreet's Debra Borchardt that at first glance the report didn't appear all that great. But upon further inspection the numbers are substantially higher when subtracting gasoline and automobiles.

He added that a strong retail sales number for December is important because it's a barometer for how the fourth-quarter GDP could be. Furthermore, fourth-quarter GDP is very important because it's one of the metrics the Federal Reserve will use to determine the changes in its monetary policy. 

Bliss stressed consumers will  play a vital role in 2014 because their buying is what drives 70% of the U.S. economy. Investors should pay attention to the guidance from retail companies when they report this earnings season. 

Borchardt said that "actions speak louder than words," referring to Macy's  recent layoff of 2,500 workers. The move implies that M doesn't expect an overwhelmingly large crowd of shoppers in the intermediate future, she said.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.