Markets barely moved this week, and there was no new data of note except the monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business tracking small-business-owner confidence.

NFIB economist Bill Dunkelberg called the current Small Business Optimism Index value of 88 "a recession-level reading." The index has had some better days recently, but is in the same basic place it has been since early 2008. The NFIB work is so sound, so long-running (same format since 1973) that those claiming a stronger national recovery under way have some explaining to do.

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