So much for the market “pop” I expected with the employment report that came out on Good Friday. It appears that the less-than-expected numbers, even though positive for the first time since 2007, were not enough to jolt the market. Even adding the better-than-expected pending home sales numbers didn’t provide the jolt I expected.
Demand for Higher Risk; Bullish Outlook for Economy Boosts Stocks
Demand for higher risk assets and a bullish outlook for the economy helped drive U.S. equity prices higher on Monday. Stocks opened higher and held on to gains after getting a boost from better than expected ISM Non-Manufacturing data and an unexpected positive change in pending home sales.
Key Indicators Signal a Positive Shift in the Economic Landscape
Something has changed these last few weeks.
Yesterday I was struck by how many indicators have suddenly broken trend over the last few months. It appears that the economic landscape has shifted.
Last week, I mentioned that outstanding loans at U.S. commercial banks have flattened for the first time in over a year.
The picture below is worth a thousand words. And $50 trillion.
Financial Assets held by households - Chart
This was just released by the Bank of Japan as part of their new "flow of funds" reporting. Basically, it outlines the composition of Japanese household assets versus counterpart households in America.
The major stock market indices added to their gains this week – obtaining comfort from the Fed’s policy statement that the “juice” was not about to be removed anytime soon – and hit 18-month highs before closing down on Friday as “quadruple witching day” in the US weighed on sentiment.
A Bull Market Requires a Healthy Consumer Underneath
A year ago this week the stock market hit its nefarious 666 level on the S&P 500. Since that historic day, we have enjoyed a 68% appreciation in equities from their depressionary low. Not only has the bounce caused a chorus of perma-bulls to claim the worst of the recession is behind us, but also to declare that the bull market is here to stay.
First Micro-Insurance Plan Uses Mobile Phones and Weather Stations to Shield Kenya's Farmers
As East Africa recovers from the worst drought in decades, an innovative program just
launched will use a low-cost, mobile phone payment and data system, and automated, solar
powered weather stations, to offer thousands of farmers in parts of Western and Central
Kenya affordable, "pay as you plant" insurance to protect their investments in desperately
Improving Economy Pushes March S&P through Resistance
Signs of improvement in the U.S. economy helped the March E-mini S&P 500 push through recent resistance at 1112.75 to turn the main trend to up. The strong close in the Dow has this average in a position to challenge the last main top at 10434. Strong demand for technology stocks helped drive the March NASDAQ through the recent main top at 1833.00.
As investors vacillated about the impact of developments in Greece, together with the uncertainty of strong fourth-quarter economic data possibly not carrying over to the first quarter, stock markets experienced two sharp sell-offs and two rebound rallies, limping to small gains on Friday but ending the week modestly down.
The Year of the Metal Tiger is upon us. Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is a festive period where the Chinese celebrate by giving angpows, buy new stuff after doing a thorough spring cleaning, clear outstanding debts and look forward to bountiful rewards. However, given that the tiger is a ferocious animal, this year is generally not good for risky ventures.
Peak Oil and the Investment Landscape: A Look at the Potential Winners and Losers
Last month, I explained in an article how and why the world is approaching a worldwide peak in oil production sometime in the next decade. Although there are large implications throughout the economy, I want to say upfront that I do not think this will bring on Armageddon.