It was bad day for the global growth story on Wednesday, but don't tell that to the stock market. The S&P 500 enjoyed a splendid day, despite two pieces of evidence that international business conditions are in serious trouble.
Exhibit A: FedEx. Wednesday morning, the global shipping company announced earnings of $1.23 per share—which was not only 31 percent lower from the year prior, but 15 cents below analyst estimates. The company blamed the quarter on weakness in international markets, particularly in Asia, and said they expect that weakness to continue.
Exhibit B: Caterpillar. The world's biggest construction equipment maker announced that global sales to dealers dropped 13 percent for the three months through February. Asia-Pacific sales were especially soft, dropping by 26 percent.