Occasionally, there is that one event, that one thing, that one moment at the party when a little voice in your head softly says, "Yeah, it's probably time to go home." Maybe it is the off-color remark of your friend who's been drinking cosmos since four in the afternoon. Perhaps its the muffled sound of vomiting emanating from the bathroom door. Or the overheard whisper "I'm not sharing with him. Who ever heard of a 'third of a gram' anyhow."
Well, for those of us drifting around in the wee hours watching futures markets, that moment was the release of U.S. retail numbers.
September's drop, the largest since August 2005, extended declines in retail sales to three consecutive months, the first time that's happened since comparable records began in 1992.
Sales are slowing just as merchants prepare for the holiday selling season, which may account for as much as 35 percent of a retailer's revenue.
Futures, which had enjoyed sloppy gains after Tokyo rallied into nicely positive territory in the last hour of trading (who the hell knows what they were thinking) slid into the pit of despair. Yeah, so that bailout probably isn't going to be enough on its own. Now that the market has opened lower, we all probably have to settle in for some sideways action for the next week or so.
U.S. Retail Sales Slump 1.2%, Most in Three Years [Bloomberg]