Ok - so you know by now I'm not much for paying attention to economic data, at least when it comes to its impact on stocks. Sure, they correlate over extended periods of time, but that's much too long to be meaningful to investors in the here and now.
So that data's useless for handicapping the stock market, but it's the economy, after all; we're all economic observers and actors, we have businesses or jobs that depend on the broader performance of the economy, even if we don't own a single stock.
And data's always good for clueing us in when Wall Street tries to snow us.
Finally, the data can tell us whether we should be worried about "The Big Picture," as in, "Will our grandchildren be able to do as well as we did here in the United States, or should we tell them to think about seeking their fortunes elsewhere?"
Today, it's retail sales data that tells the tale - and gives the lie to the bright, rosy picture we're being given of 2018's "Trump economy."
Turns out, if you've ever had the feeling economic growth and prosperity is passing you by, you're on to something - something big.
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About the Author
Financial Analyst, 50-year charting expert, finance + real estate pro, and market analyst; published and edited the Wall Street Examiner since 2000.