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As we assumed, retail sales and jobless claims are coming in better than expected.  Retail sales are very weak across the board, but generally better than analysts expected.  Reuters reports:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several U.S. retailers reported better-than-expected monthly sales figures for a second straight month in April, offering fresh evidence that consumers’ willingness to spend is warming up with the spring weather.

Of the 11 retailers that already reported April sales at stores open at least a year, 60 percent topped Wall Street estimates.

The news in Europe is not quite as good.

BRUSSELS (AFP) — Retailers in the 16 nations using the euro saw a slump in their sales accelerate in March, according to official EU data released on Wednesday.

The volume of retail sales in the eurozone fell 0.6 percent in March over one month, bringing the decline over one year to 4.2 percent, the European Union’s Eurostat data agency said.

The result was slightly worse than in February when retail sales fell only 0.3 percent over one month and 4.0 percent over one year.

Meanwhile, in the 27-nation EU, retail sales fell 0.3 percent in February over one month and 3.1 percent over one year.

Initial Jobless claims in the U.S. came in at 601K.  Continuing claims continue to surge however , coming in at 6.351MM.    In other shocking news – the banking index is up 4..5% in the pre-market.  One more squeeze indeed!


  1. Gary

    I wonder if this stress test thing is a buy on the rumor and sell on the news sort of thing?

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