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Street recession indicator says fears overblown

NYSE trader on the floor
Andrew Renneisen | Getty Images
NYSE trader on the floor

Recession fears gripped the markets last month, just as one indicator was beginning to show those worries were overblown.

The Citigroup U.S. Economic Surprise Index reached an eight-month low on the day of the last employment report Feb. 5. That was just six days away from Feb. 11, when the S&P 500 fell to its low of 1,810.

The surprise index remains negative, but its move suggests the market has been too glum about the economy. The Citi index could also be sending another important message to markets.