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Why 2015 Has Been a Total Disappointment When it Comes to Retail Sales

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U.S. markets followed the global pattern and were under pressure all day on Friday to produce significant weekly losses to snap the six-week rally. Markets were under pressure from the start on Friday, extending upon Thursday’s weakness where a number of Fed speakers reiterated the calls for rate hikes in December. The negative environment upon the open was mostly due to a weak retail sales report that raised growth concerns in the United States. Retail sales grew by only 0.10% from September versus expectations of 0.30%. The S&P 500 experienced some selling shortly after the open and attempted a late morning recovery that fell short. Ultimately the major averages rolled over into the afternoon to fall -1.12% and close at 2023.03. For the week as a whole the S&P was down -3.63% to record the worst weekly return since September. Trading volume picked up on Friday and was above average for the first time during the recent selloff. The advance/decline margin suggested broad selling across the board as three stocks fell for every share that managed to buck the negative trend on Friday. New lows expanded once again on Friday while the number of stocks reaching new 52 week highs was marginal. Beneath the surface there were some sectors that managed to finish in positive territory. Healthcare stocks recorded a small gain on Friday. The materials sector also managed to close higher. The technology sector finished lower on Friday but the real selling was in the consumer cyclical sector due to the poor retail sales data. Commodities continued their string of lower closes on Friday with oil leading the way down. Oil lost close to -2.5% on Friday and has now lost over 15% in the last two weeks. The bond market traded in mixed fashion to continue the overall trend...


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