Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, the Census Bureau says. That may be a sign that as 2012 ended consumers were still in a shopping mood even as lawmakers in Washington struggled to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.
There are two positive economic signals to pass along this morning:
-- The Census Bureau says orders for durable goods rose 0.7 percent in November from October. That follows a 1.1 percent rise in October from September and is the sixth increase in the past seven months.