On Wall Street, there is a widening gulf between bulls and bears, and today’s GDP report has surprises for both sides. On its face, the overall real growth rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter of 2007 was higher than expected and higher than the average of 3.2 percent over recent decades. Yet the report cannot dispel the genuine threats to the economy, notably the continuing weakness in the housing and specifically subprime mortgage sector; oil prices nearing $80 a barrel; and the likelihood of Congress passing protectionist legislation later this year. Congress must reject such action for strong economic growth to continue for the rest of the year.

”Behind the Numbers”

The number one concern of market watchers is that the American consumer is losing steam. The clich

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