Wikimedia CommonsThe North Frisian Wadden Sea
This 5-year-old bull market still has legs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,573.0 (+40.3, +0.2%)
- S&P 500: 1,890.8 (+5.3, +0.2%)
- Nasdaq: 4,276.4, (+8.4, +0.2%)
And now the top stories:
- The S&P 500 closed at a new all-time high today. And it has been coinciding with improving economic data following the recent unusually cold winter. “So once again, a relief rally is driving stock prices higher,” said veteran strategist Ed Yardeni. “We saw that yesterday in response to the solid M-PMI and auto sales for March.”
- Goldman Sachs’ proprietary Global Leading Indicator confirms that global growth has at least stopped decelerating. “This ends six months of slowing and locates the global industrial cycle on the cusp of the ‘Expansion’ phase,” said a team of Goldman analysts led by George Cole. “Korean exports improved and U.S. Initial Jobless Claims also trended lower. The Belgian and Netherlands Manufacturing Survey and the Baltic Dry Index showed some strength as well. On the negative side, the S&P GSCI Industrial Metals Index® continued to drop sharply, while the AUD & CAD TWI aggregate was only marginally lower.”
- ADP’s National Employment Report got a decent amount of attention today. According to ADP, U.S. companies added 191,000 private-sector jobs in March, which was a bit below Wall Street’s estimate for 195,000. “The job market is coming out from its deep winter slumber,” said Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. “Job gains are consistent with the pace prior to the brutal winter. The gains are broad based across industries and business size classes. Even better numbers are likely in coming months as the weather warms.”
- Some continue to believe ADP offers a good preview of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official jobs report. However, an increasing number of people are ignoring it. “It’s a shame that April Fool’s Day fell yesterday and not today, because we have come to regard the ADP employment report as a bit of a joke,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics. According to Shepherdson’s research, the ADP numbers are problematic because they appear to put a lot of weight into lagging data from the BLS. “This glaring flaw in the construction of the ADP report means we can no longer take the number seriously as an advance guide to the official data.”
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