It is traditional to present the results of searches such as Higgs hunting as Brazil plots that show us where a signal can be excluded at 95% confidence, but when the data starts to show a positive signal it is better to show signal plots like the one below. This is just the observed confidence level limit minus the expected with the error bands for one and two sigma statistical variation shown around the signal level line.
In this plot an absence of a Higgs boson is indicated by the black line being at the red zero line, but the presence of a standard model Higgs is indicated by meeting the green line at one.
Here I am using the latest CMS and ATLAS data shown at Lepton-Photon 2011 as well as the Tevatron combination shown at EPS 2011
This gives a much clearer picture of what is going on. Above 155 GeV the signal is nicely consistent with no Higgs. Below 135 GeV the signal is right in the middle but the error bands are large and easily allow for either a Higgs or no Higgs.
The middle region is more interesting. From about 135 GeV to 150 GeV it disfavours both a signal and no signal of a standard model Higgs. It is tempting to say that this rules out standard model physics in this region but I think it is too soon to draw such a conclusion. It may be that there is a SM Higgs boson at say 140 GeV but the resolution is not sufficiently good to get a clean signal there, or more data may see the line fluctuate down to the no signal level.
It is important to remember that we are still at the stage where just a few signal events have a big effect on the curve. More detail will emerge with more data. Furthermore, the plot above is only an approximation that does not properly take into account all uncertainties and correlations.
The LHC is now entering a Machine Development and Technical Stop phase for the next two weeks with 2.5/fb recorded in each of ATLAS and CMS. There are no big conferences on the horizon but both experiments have CERN seminars scheduled for the middle of September. With luck they might update all the channels and give us another update soon. Hopefully they will also do some official combos for both exclusion and signal plots.
In case you were wondering what it would have looked like with the EPS data, here it is.