STOCKS RALLY: Here's What You Need To Know

american flag horse lance armstrongUS Postal rider Lance Armstrong of the United States watches as a spectator on horseback waves the American flag.

July started on a positive note after a huge wage of economic news.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 14,969.8, +59.8, +0.4%
  • S&P 500: 1,614.2, +8.2, +0.5%
  • NASDAQ: 3,432.2, +29.3, +0.8%

And now, the top stories:

  • We got tons of economic data from all over the world in the last 24 hours.
  • Things started in Japan, where we learned that large manufacturers were optimistic for the first time in seven quarters.  This was according to the Tankan survey.  The survey also signaled increasing levels of optimism for Q3 2013.
  • South Korean exports, however, unexpectedly fell in June.  This measure is considered a reliable bellwether of economic activity in mainland Asia.  However, it has also become more volatile as Japan’s aggressive monetary policies have caused Korea’s currency to surge against the Japanese yen.
  • China confirmed worries that its economy was indeed slowing.  The official China manufacturing PMI index fell to 50.1 in June from 50.8 in May.  This was right in line with expectations, but nevertheless reflects a sector that is just barely growing. The unofficial HSBC PMI index fell to a 9-month low of 48.2.  This sub-50 reading signals contraction. The 8 Most Important Charts In China >
  • In the U.S., the picture was a bit mixed.  According to Markit, the U.S. PMI fell to 51.9 in June from 52.2 in May.  This missed expectations for a reading of 52.3. 
  • However, the widely followed ISM manufacturing report climbed to 50.9 in June from 49.0 in May. Economists were looking for a reading of 50.5.
  • Don’t Miss: FROM DUST TO BARS: The Complete Story Of How Gold Is Mined And Refined »

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