Consumer prices in China rose a reported 5.3% as China's feeble measure to rein in inflation have not produced results.
Tuesday's stock market session was easy to like. In short, the fact that the indices advanced smartly across the board without any "high-profile directional drivers," the strong breadth numbers (2400 advancing issues vs. just 614 declines), and an increase in volume from the prior session all add up to what traders like to call "good action."
Details on Microsoft's acquisition of Skype from a technology experts point-of-view.
The clay tablets now seem incomplete. Some additional comments, or rules, should have been included One that comes to mind is that all of the above apply to politicians. That Keynesian economists are not excluded from the one about stealing would have been nice. For what else is Keynesian ideology other than a rationale for stealing the wealth and income of working citizens?
Rhetoric from the Fed has held that recent gains of commodity prices are "transitory." Economic data have been supportive of this stance. Core consumer prices are yet to show worrisome readings and inflation expectations remain anchored. Against this backdrop, new inflation reports will be tracked closely. The Consumer Price Index will be published on May 12; import prices were published this morning. The April Import Price Index moved up 2.2% after a 2.6% gain in March. Higher oil prices account for a significant part of this increase. In addition, the weakness of the dollar has played an important role.
Clearly one of the more dramatic contrasts of the current cycle is that corporate profit margins rest near all time highs and consumer confidence currently sits at what have been prior economic cycle lows. Very different than what we’ve seen in prior cycles. Just what does this set of circumstances portend for forward corporate profit margin outcomes? This mismatch between record profit margins and historically low consumer confidence says the bulk of corporate profit margin expansion in the current cycle has been accomplished by cost cutting.
World markets were higher as financial anti-gravity forces -- a.k.a., the residual effects of money printing -- continue to trump most problems, which saw the indices here in the U.S. higher by about 0.5% through midday. The afternoon saw another surge to the upside, with the indices gaining roughly 0.75% for the session.
The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends is out today (see report). In recent months the closely watched Small Business Optimism Index had been trying to break above recessionary levels. The March report was a disappointing setback, and the April report, released this morning, again moved in the wrong direction.
The price of gold rose for the second day in succession in London on Tuesday, recovering half of last week's 7% plunge from new all-time Dollar highs, as world stock markets also rallied again with commodities.
The $6.5 trillion lost in the bursting of the housing bubble is not a "paper loss," it is tragically real. Is anyone surprised that housing continues to slide? According to this report, Home Market Takes a Tumble: Turnaround More Distant After 3% Drop, Steepest Quarterly Decline Since 2008, housing has declined in value for 57 straight months, almost 5 years.