Retail Sales’ Strong Beat

Retail sales came in roughly double the Street’s estimates at 0.7% versus consensus of 0.3-0.4%. Ex-auto was just as strong: 1.1% versus 0.5% consensus. Combined with an Empire State Manufacturing index disappointment of -14.3 versus -6.0 expected, futures sold off for all of 30 seconds or so before rebounding to higher highs.

The retail sales print, like much of the recent data, further reduces the odds of substantial rate cuts in 2024. Yet, as is often the case, the algos ignored the data and focused instead on several of their favorite factors: VIX, currencies and SPX’s bounce off its 50-day moving average.

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