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

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news