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Stocks rallied on the tail of some bullish economic data.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,424, +95.3, +0.7 per cent
S&P 500: 1,440, +11.2, +0.8 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,064, +20.3,+0.6 per cent
And now the top stories:
- Over the weekend, China set up today’s trading session with its latest trade data. In September, imports returned to growth. And more notably, exports accelerated to 9.9 per cent, which was much higher than the 5.5 per cent growth economists were looking for.
- However, Asian markets sold off as those numbers were met with a bit of caution and scepticism. From Bank of America’s Ting Lu: “In our view, the recent appreciation of euro-USD boosted yoy export growth by about 2%. And the fact that the mid-Autumn Festival was in the middle of Sep in 2011 but was part of the Golden Week in 2012 might also distort the data…Finally, base effect could play a big role as in 2011 export growth slumped to 17.0% yoy in Sep from 24.4% in Aug.” SEE ALSO: CHINA CRASH 2012: Here’s Why It’s Finally Happening >
- Chinese exports also go a boost from one product: Apple’s iPhone 5. “We believe the release of iPhone 5 was the major cause behind the sudden pick-up of Taiwan’s trade activity with the mainland,” writes Societe Generale economist Wei Yao. “These idiosyncratic factors are unlikely to repeat and China’s export growth is unlikely to rise persistently to year-end.”
- U.S. retail sales unexpectedly jumped 1.1 per cent in September, which was well ahead of the 0.9 per cent gain expected. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales jumped 0.9 per cent versus expectations for a 0.4 per cent gain. Like the Chinese data, retail sales also got a boost from the iPhone 5. “Some of the strength in spending appears to have reflected the iPhone, as sales at electronic and appliance store rose 4.5% after a six-month average pace of -0.4%,” wrote UBS economist Maury Harris.
- Today’s economic data wasn’t all great. The Empire State Manufacturing index improved to -6.16 from -10.41 last month. However, it wasn’t as good as the -4.00 economists were expecting. SEE ALSO: Bloomberg Has Put Together A Brilliant Guide On What’s Next In The US Economy >
- The bottom line, as put forth by Joe Weisenthal, “The U.S. Consumer (in part due to housing) is feeling increasingly strong. Businesses (perhaps in part due to the fiscal cliff) are still weak.”
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