Scoreboard: Cold comfort

Wall Street made an exception to poor retail data on the basis of bad weather.

Most of the data-flow flow that we saw out of the United States wasn’t great. Retail sales fell 0.4 per cent in January, after a 0.1 per cent fall the month prior. Core sales were 0.2 per cent lower after a 0.1 per cent increase. I think most investors accept that weather has distorted this data though, and the northeast of the US is now being hit with snow storms. They’re pretty serious – 3500 flights have been delayed and many hundreds of thousands have no power, some 400,000 down south around Georgia and Carolina. With those conditions, seeing a small increase in jobless claims was fairly irrelevant as well. In the week to February 8, claims rose to 339,000 from 331,000.

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