This item caught my eye as I was catching up on the news this morning:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in August, pushed lower by plunging gasoline prices, according to Commerce Department data released Friday.

Huh??? Gas prices down, so retail shopping is down? What are you smoking, dude? If that sentence had read ‘sales pushed higher by plunging gas prices’ I wouldn’t have stopped, because we’ve been hearing that for a couple years. But this headline made me stop. Of course, down in the bowels of the article the writer quoted his source which said the opposite, and properly so. But the point is, when the financial world is in a near panic mode and looking over its’ shoulder for the next train wreck, we’re going to read irrational stuff in the media. If you’re an investor or in a business where the state of the global economy is critical to your business, you’ve got to ignore the panic scripts. Read the statistics and ignore the interpretations of those statistics. Then draw your own conclusions. You’ll be ready when your market is ready.

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