US data could signal weaker Q3 growth

Stocks sank after a triple whammy of disappointing U.S. data. How disappointing was it? Even Europe dropped after the numbers came out at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

September retail sales and PPI both came in weaker than expected. October manufacturing activity in New York was poor too, falling short of estimates after posting its strongest pace in nearly five years last month.

Read MoreUS producer prices fall for first time in more than a year

September retail sales were troubling. Electronics had a nice pop, likely due to the release of the new iPhone, but everything else was disappointing. What happened? Isn't declining oil supposed to be a positive for retail sales? It is, but the big drop only occurred in October.

Most likely, there was a reverse wealth effect. Look what stocks did in September. The S&P was down 1.5 percent. There has been a lot of reliance on rising stock market prices as support for consumer spending. There is no wage and salary growth.

Retail Sales excluding autos, which was expected to be up 0.4 percent, was down 0.2 percent. This is an indicator of how well the consumer is hanging in there, and by extension expectations of growth for the third quarter.

Read MoreRetail sales give cautionary sign on demand

It's not encouraging, so expect estimates for third quarter growth to be revised downward. A lot of estimates are around 3.0 percent to 3.5 percent. You'll see estimates with a "2" handle in front of it now.

The dollar is getting hit hard on this news.

The good news is that European economic weakness, and the Ebola issue has pushed out expectations of a Fed rate hike further into 2015.


IPOs keep coming. At the NYSE, Dominion Midstream Partners, a master limited partnership that owns liquefied natural gas import, storage, regasification and transportation assets, priced 17.5 million shares at $21, at the high end of the $19 to $21 range.

Also at the NYSE, Midwestern bank Great Western Bancorp priced 16 million shares at $18, well below the $21 to $24 range.

On the NASDAQ, multiple sclerosis biotech Forward Pharma priced 10.5 million shares—more than expected—at $21, in the middle of the $20 to $22 price talk.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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