U.S. equities gave up ground on each of the four trading days last week. The cumulative loss was minimal, just 0.7 percent, but stocks were unable to rally on what was mostly stronger than expected economic data. Retail sales surged higher by 5.3 percent in January, crushing consensus forecasts of a 1.1 percent gain. Industrial production was more than double consensus. The flash PMI report for February showed unexpected strength in services, offsetting a slight decline in manufacturing from the prior month. Existing home sales, building permits, and the homebuilders index all moved higher as well. Only housing starts and weekly jobless claims disappointed. The dollar edged fractionally lower last week, but the VIX saw a notable increase. After ending the prior week below 20 for the first time since the selloff began last February, the VIX closed at 22, and is moving higher to 24 in early trading this week.