On the surface, much of this week’s economic data was quite positive. Retail sales were stronger than expected in June, industrial production rose more than expected, housing starts continued to rise, consumer prices showed a modest pick-up, US businesses reported an acceleration in activity in the Fed’s latest Beige Book report, and new unemployment claims were in line with expectations in the most recent week. Yet, the details of these reports were mixed, and we believe the outlook for the economy remains uncertain. We believe the near-term outlook hinges largely on additional fiscal stimulus.

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