To "V" or not to "V" … that is the question.

The optimists see the steep far side, the middle-roaders see bottom nearby, and the skeptics see the economy still declining, just slower, with possible multiple bottoms ahead.

A 0.4 percent drop in April retail sales was less than the 1.3 percent dive in March, but the weakness still surprised the optimists, who are happy today with an "only" 0.5 percent decline in April industrial production.

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