The Wall Street Journal seems puzzled:
Sales at retailers and restaurants decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in December from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the largest monthly decline since January 2014. Excluding gasoline sales, purchases fell 0.4%, while spending declined 1% when removing the volatile autos category.
The numbers are at odds with what most retailers say was a relatively strong holiday season and underscore the volatility of consumers, who may have more money in their pockets thanks to lower energy prices but aren’t necessarily spending it.
The results “were weak even after accounting for the huge plunge in gasoline prices,” PNC Financial Services Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman said. Excluding gasoline, the consumer-spending trend is “increasing, but growth does not look as strong as it did in November.”
2--Treasury Bond Yield Drops to Record Low Amid Fear of Global Deflation, Bloomberg
3--U.S. Stocks Fall on Growth Concerns as Retail Sales Drop, Bloomberg
4--Don’t bet on a stronger dollar as risks abound , Eichengreen
5--Market madness started with end of Fed's QE, cnbc
QE works "much better for equity prices than it does for economic growth," Pento said. "You had a huge separation where markets went based on the Fed's $1.7 trillion QE(3) program and where GDP growth was on a global basis. Now you're seeing those two reconcile."
"Copper's down over 20 percent. You're looking at global yields in the toilet and oil prices down over 50 percent," he added. "If you add all those things together, it adds up to global slow growth and the bursting of the commodity bubble that we saw courtesy of central banks."
"The fuel for the fire over the last several years has been stock repurchases, and that has been fueled for the most part by the zero interest rate environment. As long as that continues, there's still some room for the stock market to continue higher," said Brian LaRose, a strategist at United-ICAP. "The path of least resistance is still to the upside."
6--Falling oil prices hitting economic growth; oil firms report layoffs, freezes: Fed Beige Book, cnbc
7--Nerves Rattled in U.S. Equities as S&P 500 Volatility Turns Ugly , Bloomberg