The economic problems continue to grow, though don't tell the stock market. They wouldn't listen anyway. Last night it was reported German exports fell hard in January 6.3% verses the consensus which expected an increase of .5%. In the UK manufacturing production for the month of January lost .9% month over month. Also output also contracted .4% versus and expected .3% gain. It is being blamed on the weather but France had equally bad weather and met expectations with a 1.6% gain in production.
In Asia Japan machine orders fell 3.7% in January which is actually down year over year (remember this is comparing to February 2008) which is a good proxy for business investment.
The China headlines appear good with huge increases year over year but exports are now down two months in a row. This means the trade surplus is the smallest in a year. Considering that China needs exports it is hard to see how the Yuan will be appreciating much anytime soon though they may throw a political bone to Obama and tweak it a little.
The weekly ABC Consumer Comfort Index continues to scratch the bottom of all time lows and the NFIB small company optimism index is back to its lowest levels since April of last year plunging from January.
Tomorrow is the jobless claims numbers. Should be interesting considering how it has been all over the place the last few weeks with the four week average generally trending up. In the grand scheme it really doesn't mean much but a bad number the bulls can ignore and a good number the bulls can cheer.