It just got a little harder for the Federal Reserve to make a case that the economy is building a head of steam.
Retail sales and and the consumer price index (CPI), were both released at 8:30 a.m. ET and both registered just 0.1% month-over-month gains. That was the level of economists forecasts, but likely somewhat disappointing to some investors. In January, retail sales climbed 0.4% and CPI jumped 0.6%.
Peter Boockvar of The Lindsey Group writes of retail sales:
Q1 GDP estimates should get a modest lift off the core number because of the January revision higher but overall retail sales remain just O.K. Nothing great and not reflective yet of the big increase in the consumer confidence data.
Treasury yields, which have been drifting lower since reaching a peak of 2.63% on Monday, rallied more after the releases. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.58% by 9:15 a.m. ET.
Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors, notes that CPI is up 2.7% over the…