December 15, 2011 at 09:35 AM EST
Can U.S. Really Lead Global Economies & Markets Again?
Thursday, December 15, 2011. 9.25 a.m. Europe is supposedly teetering on the edge of recession as a result of its debt crisis. And its markets reflect that fear. The diversified VanGuard European etf, symbol VGK, topped out in April along with the U.S. market, and remains down 27.4%, well into territory marking a new bear [...]

Thursday, December 15, 2011. 9.25 a.m.

Europe is supposedly teetering on the edge of recession as a result of its debt crisis. And its markets reflect that fear. The diversified VanGuard European etf, symbol VGK, topped out in April along with the U.S. market, and remains down 27.4%, well into territory marking a new bear market.

121511b

Asia is now beginning to take over the headlines, becoming the topic of bearish analysis now that pundits have pretty much run out of new ways to describe the failure of the latest EU summit, and new ways to predict the dire effect of the eurozone debt crisis on the world. 

Concerns are now rising over China’s economy, the second largest economy in the world, perhaps having been slowed too much by its government’s 2-year effort to bring inflation under control, and what that slowdown combined with an economic slowdown in Europe might do to other Asian economies.

And those markets are reflecting those worries.

121511c

 

 121511d

Meanwhile in the U.S. indications continue to point to its economy recovering quite smartly from its slowing growth in the first half of the year.

U.S. consumers continue to feel increasingly confident with each recent month of promising economic reports, of more jobs being created, more homes being sold, etc. Consumer confidence, previously mired in the mud, has risen along with the better jobs reports for four straight months. And small business confidence has risen for three straight months.

Still more economic reports were released this morning.

New weekly unemployment claims fell a surprising 19,000 last week, to 366,000, their lowest level in more than three years. The consensus forecast of economists was for claims to rise, as they continue to now be behind the curve of the improving economy.

And the closely watched Empire State (NY) Mfg Index rose from 0.6 in November to 9.5 in December, its highest level in 7 months.  The consensus forecast was for an improvement, but only to 3.0.

And the U.S. market has been reflecting those improving economic conditions.

121511e

Is it possible that the U.S. economy and U.S. market are recovering their long-time global leadership? Too early to know, but sure looking better for now.

To read my weekend newspaper column ‘It’s Small-Stock Sweet Spot Time!’ Click here.

Subscribers to Street Smart Report: In addition to the charts and analysis in the Premium Content area of this blog, there is an in-depth U.S. markets update and a hotline in the subscriber area of the Street Smart Report website from last evening.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

A third straight down day. A collapse in commodities (oil closing down 5.2%) , and collapse for gold.

The Dow closed down 131 points, or 1.1%. The S&P 500 closed down 1.1%. The NYSE Composite closed down 1.3%. The Nasdaq closed down 1.5%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 1.6%. The Russell 2000 closed down 1.3%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed down 1.4%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 1.0%.

Gold plunged $57 an ounce to $1,573.

Oil closed down $5.24 at $94.90 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.2%.

The U.S. Treasury bond etf TLT closed up 1.9%.

Yesterday in European Markets.

And a third straight down day for European markets. London closed down 1.1%. The German DAX closed down 1.7%. France closed down 3.3%.

Asian Markets Closed Down Again Last Night.

The DJ Asia-Pacific Index closed down 1.3%, following the declines yesterday in Europe and the U.S.

Among individual markets last night:

Australia closed down 1.2%. China closed down 2.5%. Hong Kong closed down 1.8%. India closed down 0.3%. Indonesia closed down 1.3%. Japan closed down 1.7%. Malaysia closed up 0.1%. New Zealand closed down 0.6%. South Korea closed down 2.1%. Singapore closed down 1.4%. Taiwan closed down 2.3%. Thailand closed up 0.1%.

Premium Content Area. For Street Smart Report subscribers only, used to provide additional info to that provided in newsletter, mid-week reports, and hotlines.

To obtain access click on the ‘Subscribe’ link below which will take you to an information page on subscribing to Street Smart Report.

In the Premium Content area this morning. U.S. market. Gold. Investor Sentiment as a market indicator.


*Premium Content*

Please Login or Subscribe to view this content.

Markets This Morning.

After three straight down days, European markets are bouncing back some this morning. The London FTSE is up 1.1%. Germany’s DAX is up 1.8%. France’s CAC is up 1.2%.

Oil is up $0.64 a barrel at $95.60.

Gold is up $20 an ounce at $1,993 an ounce.

This morning in the U.S. Market:

This week will be a quite heavy week for potential market-moving economic reports, including Retail Sales, Consumer Price Index, Industrial production, and the Fed’s FOMC meeting. To see the full schedule of the week’s reports click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

There were no reports Monday, or yesterday. Tuesday’s reports were that the Small Business Sentiment Index rose 1.8 points in November to 92.0, the third straight monthly improvement in small business optimism. And that Retail Sales were up 0.2% in November, not as strong as the 0.6% increase in October, and not as positive as the consensus estimate of a gain of 0.5%. And in its announcement after its FOMC meeting the Fed noted the improvement in the U.S. economy, pointed out the significant risk to that improvement from the European debt crisis, said it was ready to provide further stimulus if needed, but opted to wait to see how things develop after the end of the year.

This morning’s reports were that new weekly unemployment claims fell by a surprising 19,000 last week to only 366,000, their lowest level in more than three years. And the Producer Price Index was up 0.3% in November versus down 0.3% in October. And the Empire State (NY) Mfg Index was surprisingly stronger in November, rising to its highest level in 7 months. And Industrial Production fell 0.2% in November, but thanks to improvements in recent months, was 3.7% higher than in November a year ago.  

Still to come is the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Index at 10 a.m.

Our Pre-Open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being up 120 points or so in the early going.

To read my weekend newspaper column ‘It’s Small-Stock Sweet Spot Time!’ Click here.

Subscribers to Street Smart Report: In addition to the charts and analysis in the Premium Content area of this blog, there is an in-depth U.S. markets update and a hotline in the subscriber area of the Street Smart Report website from last evening.

How are you doing? We can help, and at very reasonable cost! Street Smart Report Online provides an 8-page newsletter every 3 weeks, an in-depth 6 page interim update every Wednesday on our intermediate-term signals and recommended holdings, an in-depth 4-page ‘Gold, Bonds, Dollar’ update every 2 weeks, and special reports and hotline updates as needed. Sectors, stocks, bonds, gold, short-sales, long-side and inverse etf’s and mutual funds. Highly regarded and in its 23nd year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

I’ll be back Saturday morning with the regular Saturday morning post, as usual later than the week-day posts, probably around 11 a.m. (This blog appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning!).

**** End of Today’s post*****

Related Stocks:
Stock Market XML and JSON Data API provided by FinancialContent Services, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Six Financial
Postage Rates Bots go here