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Maybe most perplexing, massive market wagers have been made in support of both views: The optimists have pushed the stock market ever higher, while the pessimists have driven bond yields ever lower. As a result, for those who look to the stock and bond markets for clues to the U.S. economy, the picture it presents alternates between exuberance and, increasingly, deep gloom. “It’s getting so the dissonance between the bond market and stock market is deafening,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. On one side of the divide is the enthusiasm of the stock market. Though it dipped on Friday, the S&P 500 average is up 20 percent from its close a year ago. The troubles caused by... Full story

22 February