NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First-quarter earnings season has exceeded Wall Street's low expectations but now the economic data will need to cooperate if stocks are going to rally much further from here.
Wednesday's mixed session was the equivalent of treading water. The shortfall in the Automatic Data Processing private payrolls report was especially surprising after Tuesday's strong read on manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management, and economists and traders alike were struggling to reconcile the two.
Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, broke down the mixed message in the data and what it may mean for Friday's government employment numbers in commentary on Wednesday.
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