Stocks Are Rallying

Woman dow jones futures traderREUTERSElizabeth Ladella watches the price boards above the DOW Jones Industrial Average futures index trading pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, March 23, 2001.

Markets are up today, recovering some of yesterday’s big losses.

The Dow is up 75 points (+0.5%), the S&P 500 is up 14 points (+0.8%), and the Nasdaq is up 50 points (+1.2%)

Earlier today, we learned retail sales grew by 0.2% in December, which was a faster pace than the 0.1% expected by economists. Excluding autos and gas, core sales accelerated to 0.6% growth from 0.3% in November.

Here’s Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi’s Chris Rupkey with some colour: “So what were consumers putting in their shopping carts in December? We already got the car and light truck sales ahead of today’s retail sales report that showed sales falling to a 15.3 million annual rate in December from a post-recession high of 16.3 million in November. Furniture and building materials down 0.4%. Electronics down 2.5%. Food and beverages up 2%. Health and personal care items up 0.6%. Many of the declining categories of sales like sporting goods came after a few months of solid gains. The standout is internet sales, the so-called non-store retailers, up 1.4% in December and 14% for the year. The internet had a good holiday anyway.”

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