Unusually severe winter weather is expected to dent economic growth and perhaps cause more rough sledding for stocks.
The number and intensity of winter storms have stalled pockets of economic activity across the country, with another system moving toward the East Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ice paralyzed Atlanta late last month, bitter cold shut Chicago schools and snowstorms in the East halted travel. Add drought conditions in the West, and economists are attempting to determine how much they should deduct from first-quarter growth simply because of the weather.
"We already saw it in auto sales," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "It literally freezes the economic activity, and you don't get the activity to resume until we get a thaw."