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The U.S. economy continues to provide little source of optimism, only lessening degrees of pessimism. News last week that the U.S. Federal Reserve foresees the need to keep the stimulus flowing into the economy may have soothed markets but they hardly indicate the news is going to get any better. One figure that should give observers pause jumped out of Monday’s June retail numbers, suggesting a warning about the sector that has been driving the U.S. economy: housing.