Bonds began the day in slightly stronger territory but are in the midst of a paradoxical sell-off following weaker than expected Retail Sales. Weaker data normally helps bonds, so what's up with that?
As is the case with several other economic reports, headline Retail Sales has increasingly been eclipsed by some of its constituent components when it comes to market movement potential. In today's case, the "excluding autos" number was right in line with forecasts. Adding more volatile items to the "exclude" list shows the 2nd biggest gain in 7 months (+0.7%). The icing on the cake may be online sales--the biggest component behind autos--surging 1.2% month-over-month. All this at a time when markets keep waiting for evidence of recessionary pressures setting in.