In Today's Update:
1) Stocks closed mixed on Thursday after a shockingly weak Retail Sales data report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 103.88 or 0.41%, the S&P 500 fell 7.30 or 0.27% while the Nasdaq 100 closed higher by 6.58 or 0.09% and the Russell 2000 finished higher by 2.16 or 0.14%.
2) Crude Oil Futures continued to climb closing higher by $0.61 or 1.13% while Gold Futures finished flat and the U.S. dollar moved slightly lower. The Bond market traded higher and the yield on the 10-year treasury note dropped to 2.656%.
3) The Equity markets are already in a fragile state but today's Retail Sales report is making Traders very nervous. Retail Sales dropped 1.2% in December compared to a 0.2% gain expected by economists. Jobless Claims have increased for the third straight week and now Economists are starting to slash fourth-quarter GDP growth estimates.