Opinion: Market analysts can’t agree on where stocks are going next. So double-check the data before you buy or sell

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It’s an urgent question, since the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index (CESI) has been negative for two months now, following an unbroken positive stretch for more than a year. The CESI measures the extent to which the latest economic news deviates from the Wall Street consensus. The past two months of consistently negative CESI readings therefore mean that the economic news, on balance, has been worse than expected. Is it good news or bad for stock investors that recent U.S. economic news releases have been significantly worse than expected? The latest reading from the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index (CESI) is minus 29.2. Just 10 days ago it was even more negative, at minus 61.7. Its average over the last 18 years is 4.6.
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