STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's What You Need To Know

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This week kicked off with a bullish economic report.

First the scoreboard:

Dow: 15,089, -28.7 pts, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,632, -0.9 pts, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 3,436, -0.0 pts, -0.0%

And now the top stories:

  • Retail sales were surprisingly strong in April, unexpectedly rising by 0.1% despite plunging energy prices.  Economists were looking for a 0.3% decline.  Excluding autos and gas, sales jump by 0.6%, beating expectations for a 0.3% gain.  This is a very encouraging sign for consumption, which makes up around 70% of the economy.
  • With stocks at all-time highs, the good news arguably prevented any sort of profit-taking, corrective sell-off.  Raymond James’ Jeff Saut believes that almost nothing will prevent the S&P 500 from rallying to at least 1,700 by the end of the first quarter.
  • According to a new survey of its clients, Bank of America Merrill Lynch reports that 92% of investors are expecting a great summer. Furthermore, no one really seems to be worried about rising interest rates.
  • In a note to clients this morning, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Parker warns of earnings expectations that continue to come down. “Negative 2013 guidance has driven analyst estimates lower,” said Parker. “Over the past month, analysts have revised down their 2013 S&P 500 estimates 0.3%.
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