Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Economy/Media: Turning Good News Into Bad News

(Drivebycuriosity) - Today the S&P 500, the gauge for the US stock market, tanked temporarily 3%. "Stocks plummeted early as data showed retail sales in the U.S. dropped 0.3 percent in September, more than economists forecast", explained Bloomberg (bloomberg).

Really? Where the numbers really so shocking? "Sales were up 4.3% from September 2013", reported the blog Calculated Risk (calculated). "Retail sales ex-gasoline increased by 5.2% on a YoY basis", added the blog.

Is a growth rate of 5.2% really so bad? Apparently the seemingly bad retail numbers are caused by weak gasoline sales, which are still an important part of the retail sales. The falling gasoline sales are caused by dropping gasoline prices (bespoke). This is good news because consumers have more money to spend for other goods. I reckon that the gasoline price drop will continue, following the crash of the oil market futures, which should be a boost for the coming holiday shopping season.

But the media - and some hedge funds who are betting on falling stock prices (short sellers) - are turning good news into bad news to spook the market.

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