If this were say 10 years ago and it was reported that consumer sentiment for August gauged much higher than expected and retail sales for the month surprised many at its strength, both the Dow and the S&P 500 would rally. This news on the heels of an upwardly revised GDP report for the secondretail sales up stocks down quarter and a suspect non-farm payrolls report.

But what do we see today? For the past five weeks stocks have closed higher but instead of a stock market rally equities will closer lower for the week and the S&P well below its 2000 mark. The NASDAQ is lower as well.

So what’s up with the “good news drives markets lower” scenario we’ve been witnessing for so long? Isn’t it time investors got on the stock bandwagon when positive reports on the economy are released? It appears there is still considerable uncertainty what higher rates will do in light of all the stronger than expected economic data. Rates of all sorts have been so low for so long it’s possible, or so some say, any significant rise would shock the economy. As if we’ve never seen higher rates before. And let’s put things into perspective, what, exactly, are investors fearful of?

Right now many concerned the Fed will raise the Fed Funds and Discount rates by 0.25% before the end of the year. But is that also the end of the world? Some may say that 0.25% is indeed such a small tweak but applied across the board it affects most every other interest rate in the environment, but really, 0.25%?

What’s the difference in yield for an asset balance of say $25,000 on a short term note over 12 months? 0.25% of $25,000 is $62.50. I’m not discounting the notion entirely but it does seem a bit overstated. Maybe that’s wrong, but I don’t think so.