In general, the retail same store sales figures that came out this morning were a tad better than most people had expected.  While few folks have received their government rebate checks, perhaps simply knowing that they are on their way gave some shoppers the encouragement to spend in advance.  Shocking!   

On the lighter side, if you are curious to know what some people will be spending their money on, check out the website How I Spent My Stimulus.  There seems to be a website for everything these days and this is no exception.  Too funny.

In other news, weekly jobless claims ticked down a tad, consistent with prior weekly data on the unemployment front.  Earnings reports are also winding down and in general, things have been pretty decent, excluding financial service companies. 

The stock market sold off more aggressively yesterday than it has in awhile.  A new record in oil – $123/barrell -may have had something to do with it,  but then again perhaps not, as energy equities also declined on the day.  While oil has continued its relentless upward march, gold has actually declined 15% or so from its recent peak, making one wonder what it all means.  I wonder what Forest Gump would think.

With earnings season largely behind us, perhaps Little Miss Market just needs some time to catch her breath and rest for a tad.  As we mentioned last week, she’s had a pretty good run.