Today's headlines sound gloomier than the data–once again. The Wall Street Journal says, "U.S. Retail Sales Show New Weakness." Yahoo Finance says, "Stocks slip as retail sales data disappoint." So how bad is the new data?
Looks to me like we're bouncing along a new bottom. True, total sales declined last month, but the change was small. I'm happy having relatively small changes for a few months–sure beats the sharp decline of late last year. This pattern is consistent with my view that we are in the neighborhood of the bottom for this cycle. But only time will tell.