As far as other big picture economic data, everything has been coming in disastrously, the current stock market rally notwithstanding. I have actually been quite long stocks all year and think we probably have one more leg up in this rally through early May before things really start to go downhill this summer. April 15th should be interesting. I am hoping, rather desperately, that the various tax protests taking shape will get some footing, but I frankly think turnout will not be big enough to be more than a footnote on the evening news. Regardless, once the government starts counting its dough in the weeks following, I expect the deficit to come in significantly worse than expected, and the financial crisis to begin its next calamitous chapter. The summer of 2009 certainly has the possibility of becoming one of those landmark periods in American history like '68. Interesting times, as per the Chinese.
I'll also reiterate my possibly eyes-wide-open, possibly I-am-taking-crazy-pills, suggestion that everyone have some place well-stocked and far from the urban streets to flee should things get, well, crazy. I realize the notion has a survivalist-tinged ridiculousness to it, this being America and all, but just in case, do yourself a favor and have a plan. It costs nothing, and with full knowledge of the future mocking I risk should this (hopefully) prove to be hyperbole, it might literally save your life.