Retail sales are down due to the weather. It makes one think – are people going to spend the money later or is this “lost” spending never going to catch up because they didn’t really need to spend and it was totally discretionary or impulse? Also, why don’t companies and analysts build these factors into their expectations? Be downbeat about xmas and if you beat the forecast all well and good – After all, aren’t stock market prices all about expectations? Sometimes it makes one wonder if it’s all about the headlines!