Many strange dislocations in the market: choppy economic data, but roaring stock markets.
May is not starting out great on the economic front: Empire Manufacturing was well below expectations, following a string of below-expectation regional manufacturing indexes. April capacity utilization and industrial production also came in below expectations, which makes sense given the weak manufacturing numbers.
This month's statistics will set the tone for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) expectations: there was some excitement over the April retail sales numbers. Some are moving up their GDP expectations for Q2 — but we still have a ways to go. And remember, the Federal Reserve needs at least three or four solid months of economic growth before they will consider slowing their bond purchase program.