Strong Retail Sales, Better Jobless Claims Despite Jack Frost

On the retail front, we were looking for tons of excuses about the mega-snow storms…

But amazingly, nobody is really whining about the fact that Jack Frost has taken us behind the stables like the high-bosomed serving wench we really are.

Here’s Reuters:

Major U.S. retailers shrugged off the snowiest January in six years to post sales that blew past analyst expectations, easing concerns that consumers were all spent out after the holidays.

Retailers posted a 4.2 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year, beating analysts’ expectations for a 2.7 percent gain and exceeding a year-earlier rise of 3.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Also, a BTE Jobless Claims number ahead of tomorrow’s NFP.

Here’s the LA Times:

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week, reversing a spike from the previous week largely caused by harsh winter weather.  Applications for benefits dropped by 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 415,000 in the week ending Jan. 29, the Labor Department said Thursday.

So far, so good – but markets are still tepid in light of the protests-turned-violent in the Middle East.

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