Well, if the stock market (based solely on price action), and much of the media were our guides we'd say we're presently leaving the runway toward a brand new, sustainable, economic expansion.
Market-related stuff (some of which is coming your way tomorrow) and, frankly, the latest data releases themselves fly directly in the face, so to speak, of that narrative.
Today, for example, retail sales blew away expectations! Yes, of course you know from what level. And when we view it in the context of year-over-year, well, -6% is like nothing we ever see outside of recession (of course on-line retail [green line below] continues to knock it out of the park):
Another popular retail survey, performed by Johnson Redbook, happened to be released today as well. It, surprisingly, registered a 2.4% decline even on a month-over-month basis:
While still notably in the dumps year-over-year:
Two other highly-anticipate releases today were industrial production and capacity utilization.
Unfortunately, both strongly suggest that the economy has huge heights to ascend before reaching cruising altitude:
Make no mistake dear clients, we're rooting for recovery every bit as much as you are. But our job, on your behalf, is to intimately understand the data (so as to not follow a giddy, unsuspecting crowd into dangerously turbulent airspace) and only fly high when our instruments suggest we can do so with low probability of a crash.
As you'll see in this week's message, a great deal of turbulence looms just off the ground from here...