The biggest news this week was that of the deal reached between President Obama and Congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts. On the news, the S&P surged two thirds of a percent then settled back as investors considered both the potential for higher deficits, at least in the short run, and the difficulty of getting it through Congress as liberal Democrats railed against the measure throughout the day. Obama defended his deal saying he was able to preserve tax breaks for the middle-class and extend unemployment benefits that were set to expire. 

All data last week provided upside surprises, a rare event over these past few months when the overwhelming dynamic was the economy's adjustment to the overhang of excess inventory. The data not only suggest an turning point but also support the notion that the weakest quarter in the cycle was Q2.