Investors are pondering over the recent economic reports as numbers are coming in below expectations. Housing starts, retail sales, manufacturing are down. Additionally, there have been two consecutive lower than expected employment reports. Most of the pundits are blaming the weather, but we believe it is the Fed’s tapering and other policies that are contributing to the slow economic growth. If the pundits are correct, the economy needs a robust GDP growth rate for the rest of the year to make up for the 1st quarter “weather”. So far, the markets have ignored the bad economic data, hence the markets are right where they began the year. As we previously mentioned, GGA expected higher market volatility with big up and big down moves for the year, but at the end of 2014 the S&P should be slightly higher.