Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: US consumer spends big

While you were sleeping: US consumer spends big

Jan 15 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street climbed, while US Treasuries fell, as the all-mighty American consumer showed she is confident enough in the outlook to spend more money than anticipated, bolstering expectations the world’s biggest economy is gathering steam.

US retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, climbed 0.7 percent in December, following a 0.2 percent advance in November, according to Commerce Department data.

The better-than-expected retail sales data, which came hot on the heels of the surprisingly disappointing government non-farm payrolls December data, released last Friday, restored confidence in the acceleration of the US economic recovery.

“The retail sales are painting a better economic backdrop than payrolls did, and investors are using recent weakness as an opportunity to buy," Mike Gibbs, co-head of the equity advisory group at Raymond James in Memphis, Tennessee, told Reuters.

In afternoon trading in New York today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.53 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.86 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.4 percent. Gains in shares of Intel, last up 3.4 percent, and those of Microsoft, last up 2.2 percent, propelled the Dow higher.

US Treasuries, however, fell, pushing yields on 10-year bonds three basis points higher to 2.86 percent.

“Another strong data point adds additional credence to the idea the monthly jobs report was an aberration,” Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist in New York at BTIG, told Bloomberg News. “While one number shouldn’t move the discussion in either direction, a strong retail sales report is much better than a weak one.”

The Fed last month decided to reduce its monthly bond-buying program to US$75 billion this month, from US$85 billion previously. And further easing is ahead, if Fed Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser has his way.

“Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated in his December press conference that if we are making progress in terms of inflation and continued job gains, then the program would be concluded late in 2014,” Plosser said in a speech in Philadelphia today.

“The December employment report has not changed my belief that the economy has already met the criteria of substantial improvement in labour market conditions,” Plosser said. “So my preference would be that we conclude the purchases sooner than this.”

Plosser also said that “the economy is on firmer footing than it has been for the past several years.”

Shares of JPMorgan eked out a 0.2 percent gain after the company reported a 7.3 percent slide in fourth-quarter profit following legal settlement costs. In the past year, the bank has agreed to pay about US$20 billion to settle numerous investigations into its businesses.

Shares of Wells Fargo added 0.3 percent after its quarterly results, while better than expected, also failed to inspire.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.2 percent gain from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX both increased 0.3 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Inequality: Top 10% Of Housholds Have Half Of Total Net Worth

The average New Zealand household was worth $289,000 in the year to June 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. However wealth was not evenly distributed, with the top 10 percent accounting for around half of total wealth. In contrast, the bottom 40 percent held 3 percent of total wealth. More>>

ALSO:

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news