It isn’t about the markets finding a direction at this juncture, it is about the markets finding less confrontation. Bourses continue to flounder and yesterday’s results internationally will not make today anymore comfortable. Wall Street went down hard as Retail Sales figures came in below expectations highlighting that even though consumer sentiment readings have been improving that consumer spending remains vulnerable. And into the trading mix was the press conference held by President Obama in which he spoke about working towards an agreement to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ but likely worried investors. Many investors were likely perplexed by the President’s rather confrontational pose towards Republicans within the context of his overall comments, and may have been scratching their heads wondering if an agreement between Democrats and Republicans is possible.

While the price of Gold maintains its value and is around 1725.00 per ounce this morning, Crude Oil did climb ever so slightly. Commodity prices as a whole did decline on Wednesday including industrial metals.

The EUR is near lows but did manage a bit of added value on Wednesday. Today the GDP numbers will come from Germany and France. While scenes from the demonstrations in Spain and Portugal yesterday will not warm the hearts of those who seek clarity from the ongoing European financial crisis, the Single Currency has not shown that it is ready to crack into a splintered disaster quite yet.

Important data will come from the U.S. via Core CPI, weekly Unemployment Claims, and the Empire State and Philly Manufacturing Index readings. Tomorrow will be mostly a quiet day for numbers, except for Italian Trade Balance statistics, and TIC Long-Term Purchases values and Industrial Production results from the States.

The word confrontation may be the focus in many respects for investors today. News from the Middle East has grown more uneasy, the demonstrations and strikes in Europe are still underway, and from the States politicians are showing that divisions are still strong. Equities do not seem poised for a rally and a rather conservative approach to trading is likely to remain in vogue within the forex markets as well.