Some hoped that today's slew of economic numbers would give a clear indication of what the Fed might do next week. Unfortunately, the data was mixed, though the key points — August retail sales and industrial production — both came in weaker than expected.
The chance for a September rate hike accordingly dropped — to 12 percent.
Those are pretty low odds.
Markets saw a respectable midday rally, but most of it does not have much to do with the economic data, or with Donald Trump and his economic policy speech. It has to do with Apple and a small group of other tech stocks.
Apple's huge 11 percent rally this week has contributed in a big way to any gains. Remember, the S&P 500 is market cap weighted, so the bigger stocks have an outsize influence on how the index moves. Apple, the biggest stock in the index, has the biggest effect.
Today, Apple is responsible for a more than 20-point gain on the S&P 500. This is significant, since the S&P is only up 21 points.