In contrast to the previous session’s gains in existing home sales, new home sales tumbled by -11.40%, much more than the expected -5.40% contraction. Analysts quick to blame the weather were left without an answer after the lauding the previous sessions housing data. Other data points confirmed that the latest slowdown in US growth is not just temporary after the manufacturing PMI fell to 54.2 from 55.7 in the prior period with new orders also declining. Most important was the weakness in export orders as global demand continues to contract. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims continue to creep back towards the key 300,000 level, printing at 295,000 with losses in the energy sector forecast to continue rising. Nevertheless, US stocks greeted another sign of worsening economic data with a rally, seeing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite close at new record highs.