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The retail sales numbers that were released today appeared to put a damper on the market, but the market has really been lackluster for the last three days. We seem to be in a "three days up and then three days down" pattern - not really, but you get the point. The market is going nowhere. SPX closed down $18 to $2047 and RUT closed down $6 to $1102. Volatility inched up almost one point on the VIX to 15.1%. Trading volume declined with 2.1 billion shares of the S&P 500 trading. Trading volume declined 8% on the NYSE and declined 13% on NASDAQ. So we have declining prices on declining volume - not very inspiring for the bulls or the bears.

Retail sales came in at a modest +1.3% for April, up from -0.3% for March. FactSet reported that internet sales were up in the first quarter (year over year) 143%. Next best was home improvement at +12%. Department stores were down 48%. The Producers price Index (PPI) reported +0.2% for April, up from last month's -0.3%. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey increased from 89.7 to 95.8 in May.

The bulls have just enough strength to hold support (so far), but not enough strength to push to new highs. On the other hand, the bears can't seem to take control to break major support levels. We may be stuck in this sideways channel until after the election.

Have a great weekend.