A gloomy retail sales report pushed Wall Street sharply lower on Wednesday as investors received another reminder that business was bad. The New York Times Floyd Norris: Nobody Is BuyingAt the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 248.42 points, or 2.9 percent, while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 3.3 percent or 29.17 points. The technology heavy Nasdaq was down 3.6 percent or 56.82 points. Shares in Europe also were hit hard. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 4.9 percent. All of the major exchanges in Europe fell more than 4 percent. The government reported on Wednesday that retail sales fell for a sixth consecutive month in December, as Americans holstered their credit cards and cut back on spending, even as stores offered discounts of 80 percent to entice shoppers. Sales at department stores, restaurants, gas stations and a host of other retail businesses fell 2.7 percent last month — nearly double what economists had been expecting — and were 9.8 percent lower than sales last December, the Commerce Department reported. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/business/economy/15econ.html So this is a recovery in a consumer spending based economy? Just covering for Neubarth, had not seen him on here recently.