I’ve just battled the crowds on Oxford Street, London and I bet the shopkeepers along Oxford Street, Sydney were having to cope with shoppers like me trying to make their way through the throngs of customers doing their best, with only three weekends to Christmas.
The UK economy is looking good if you can trust my man-in-the-street test, which is actually backed up by the fact that it has grown for 11 quarters in a row. I reckon the current quarter will be good as well, if you throw in my crane counting on Saturday as I sat sipping a beer looking over the Thames from the café at the top of the Tate Modern.
My pic below makes my point.
This good news was made even better by the Yanks registering another better-than-expected jobs number, with another 211,000 positions created in November and unemployment remaining at 5%.
But wait, there’s more.
The Dow Jones index surged 369 points (or 2.12%) despite the increased expectation that the Fed will now raise interest rates on December 16. This is a good sign that Wall Street won’t get convulsions when rates rise for the first time since 2006 and the GFC.
All up, this was very, very good news and it raises my hopes that our stock market can have a nice finish to the year and set itself up for an even better 2016.
Good to great economic news is the panacea that our stock market needs to see and if Europe, China and Japan can turn the corner on growth, then the stronger global outlook will drive commodity prices and our stock prices.
Adding to the optimism was the European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, who made the right noises in a speech, where he told the Economic Club of New York: “Thanks to our monetary policy actions, the risk of deflation in the euro area is firmly off the table," he said. “QE is there to stay. If needed, it could be recalibrated."
This was another take on his “whatever it takes” promise and his intentions to make Europe grow, no matter what, even if it means negative deposit rates of -0.3% for banks that put money with the ECB, then he’ll do it and do even more.
Putting the Fed and ECB together, this is what Myles Clouston, senior director of advisory services at the Nasdaq observed: "The jobs data continues to be positive as we look to the upcoming Fed December (meeting). Draghi's comments, certainly interesting and the market has taken a run with it."
We still have a way to go before I am supersonically confident that the global economy is out of the woods but I remain cautiously positive and this weekend’s observations and run of data have added more to my positivity rather than my caution.
I like that and so should you, if you want to see your shares head up, your super grow, your business more profitable or your job more safe as well as rewarding.
This is why I think the above is the best news over the entire weekend.
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