Here's an example of the kind of crap the markets respond to: January retail sales rose 0.2%.
What they don't tell you is that the margin of error is (+/-) 0.5%
Don't even get me started on what goes into the calculation.
From the Census Bureau report: "* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different than zero."
To the extent that anything went up, it was auto sales, which only go up because of cheap financing, and food, because of ever-escalating food prices, not because people are buying more food. Cars, food, food services, warehouse clubs and supercenters (food at Costco and Sam's Club, etc.), and general merchandise stores (food at WalMart and Target).
Give me a break. It's called inflation, not increased economic activity, or increased consumption.
For anybody who actually cares, the report is here: