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Investing Specialists

Consumer Trudges On Through the Snow

Conventional wisdom still puts the consumer firmly in a frugal, not-spending mode. It just isn't so.

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This week we saw almost no economic data--certainly none that was market-moving as the Dow saw almost no net movement the last three days of the week. The earnings well was equally dry, leaving only further tightening in China (after higher-than-expected inflation in China was announced) as important market-movers.

I thought the retail sales report was impressive, but the market didn't really seem to care. The trade balance looked better than expected, and initial unemployment claims managed a small decline. Consumer balance sheets continued to improve, with net worth up about $0.7 trillion in the December quarter.

Last Week's Same-Store Sales Report Was No Fluke
Conventional wisdom still has the consumer firmly in a frugal, not-spending mode. It just isn't so.

Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.