There was widespread concern that the holiday shopping season was a disappointment, that consumers had pulled back on worries about the economy going over the fiscal cliff.
But it was reported this morning that U.S. retail sales were up 0.5% in December, more than double the consensus forecast of economists (which was for a gain of only 0.2%). It was the biggest monthly rise in retail sales since September.
The housing recovery continues. U.S. home prices were up 0.3% in November, according to a report this morning from CoreLogic. Excluding distressed sales, home prices were up 7.4% year-on year, the biggest yearly gain since 2006.
And inflation remains tame. It was reported this morning that the Producer Price Index declined 0.2% in December, led by a big drop in food prices. And the core rate, which excludes food and energy costs, rose only 0.1%. Food prices at the wholesale level fell 0.9% in December, the biggest monthly decline since May, 2011.
[Related -Chart Says This Retailer's Comeback Isn't Finished]
Global Stock Markets Are Short-Term Overbought..
We have our subscribers invested not only in selected U.S. market sectors on our latest buy signal, but in selected global markets.
But as we've been cautioning subscribers, not just the U.S. market, but global markets in general are at least short-term overbought above short-term moving averages, and probably due for at least a short-term pullback to alleviate those overbought conditions.
[Related -ETF Performance Review: Major Asset Classes | 19 Dec 2014]
In the U.S., if a pullback takes place, the media will be blaming the squabble heating up over raising the debt ceiling. But that is only the catalyst (or excuse). The short-term overbought condition, and temptation it creates for short-term traders to take profits, is the reason.
Yesterday in the U.S. Market.
A mixed, flat day on light volume of 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.
The Dow closed up 18 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 closed down 0.1%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.1%. The Nasdaq closed down 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 0.5%. The Russell 2000 closed down 0.1%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.5%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.2%.
Gold closed up $5 an ounce at $1,667.
Oil closed up $.59 a barrel at $94.15.
The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed down 0.1%.
The U.S. Treasury bond etf TLT closed down 0.3%.
Yesterday in European Markets.
European markets were also mixed yesterday. The Europe Dow closed down 0.2%. Among individual countries, the London FTSE closed down 0.2%. The German DAX closed up 0.2%. France's CAC closed up 0.1%. Greece closed down 1.2%. Ireland closed down 0.5%. Italy closed down 0.6%. Spain closed down 0.4%. Russia closed up 0.7%.
Asian Markets closed up Sunday night and some again last night.
The Asia Dow closed up 0.6% Sunday night, and up 0.04% last night.
Among individual markets last night:
Australia closed down 0.1%. China closed up 0.9%. Hong Kong closed down 0.1%. India closed up 0.4%. Indonesia closed up 0.4%. Japan closed up 0.7%. Malaysia closed up 0.1%. New Zealand closed up 0.4%. South Korea closed down 1.2%. Singapore closed down 0.3%. Taiwan closed down 0.7%. Thailand closed down 0.2%.
Markets This Morning:
European markets are down this morning. The Europe Dow is down 0.7%. The London FTSE is down 0.1%. The German DAX is down 0.9%. France's CAC is down 0.3%. Spain is down 1.1%. Greece is down 1.5%. Italy is down 0.2%. Russia down 0.7%.
Oil is down $.40 a barrel at $93.74.
Gold is up $13 an ounce at $1,682.
This Morning in the U.S. Market:
This week is a quite heavy week for potential market-moving economic reports, including New Housing Starts, Retail Sales, Consumer Price Index, Fed's Beige Book, etc. To see the full list click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to. And the 4th quarter earnings reporting season moves into high gear.
There were no reports yesterday.
This morning's reports are that the Producer Price Index declined again in December, down 0.2%. The core rate, which excludes food and energy was up 0.1%. And Retail Sales were up 0.5% in December, more than double the consensus estimate for an increase of 0.2%. And U.S. Home Prices were up 0.3% in November, for a year-on-year gain of 7.4%, according to a report from CoreLogic. But the Empire State (NY) Fed's Mfg Index fell for the 6th straight month, declining to minus 7.8 in January from minus 7.3 in December.
The economic reports have had no effect on the pre-open indicators, which have been negative all morning, and remain so.