A slew of weak economic news and stronger than expected inflation news is weighing on stocks ahead of the Presidents’ Day weekend. Consider:
--Consumer confidence: lowest since Feb. 1992
--NY Fed survey weakest since May 2003.
Inflation is also an issue:
--Food prices up 3.1 percent in Jan.
--Gas prices up 5.5 percent.
--China import prices up 0.8 percent (As I posted earlier, one trader noted, "The days of importing deflation from China is over.").
There is also a bit of jitteriness over the long weekend (remember what happened over the MLK weekend); Europe is closing down nearly 2 percent for most of the major national indices, the worst showing of the week.
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