"Fits and starts," less bad"...all the phrases traders are using to describe the murky state we are in.
In the past few weeks, traders have clearly focused on the "starts," on the positives. Just in the last day or so, we have seen the market reluctant to drop significantly based on:
1) Intel calling a bottom in PC sales
2) Empire manufacturing index stronger than expected
3) Better news from banks on mortgage applications, fixed income
There are still plenty of "fits" that we see, data that is not showing improvement:
1) Burger King: March traffic declines
2) Retail sales: still poor
3) Production cuts fromBoeing, Alcoa and others
But I reiterate: traders have definitely been focusing on the positive. You can see it today with home builders, which are trading on the upside today on hopes of continuing signs of improvement in housing...the National Association of Home Buildersis out with its monthly report on traffic at 1 PM ET.