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Who's to Blame?

Those wondering why US stocks were down on Thursday won't find the answers in national economic data. It was a clean slate of strong reports from Jobless Claims to Existing Home Sales to Philly Fed to Leading Economic Indicators.

So who rained on our parade?

Those dastardly Europeans and their continued economic malaise. Yes, some may point to poor earnings results from FedEx or Oracle. But really those are global companies getting hit by softening outside the US. Namely Europe.

The continent's weakness was also on full display in Thursday's PMI Flash results. European manufacturing slowed down to a 46.6 reading versus 48.2 estimate. And the services reading was even a notch worse at 46.5. (below 50 = contraction).

Over the past two years it has been most beneficial to ignore Europe and not let them take our eye off the positive story here in the US. That is likely the right call now as well.

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