If it feels like the economic data has been jerking the market around, that's because it has.
CNBC looked at all the economic data that's come out in the past several weeks and found it to be seriously mixed, that is, strongly positive and strongly negative. We call this our better/better, worse/worse list. To make the list, a data point has to be better or worse than the consensus AND better or worse than the prior report. The findings: As of Friday morning, six indicators make the better/better list and six make the worse/worse list.
The differences are enough to leave an investor highly confused. Leading the better/better list is the April jobs report with its out-sized job growth of 288,000. It handily beat the 215,000 consensus and the prior month's 203,000. Jobless claims are also better/better. But retail sales came in with just a 0.1 percent gain, missing the 0.4 percent consensus and the prior month's 1.5 percent gain. Many economists have said that the prior-month's strength offset the downside surprise in April but they would have felt more confident in a strong growth outlook if some of the momentum had spilled over.