Markets Are Booming

Stocks around the world are booming.

The S&P 500 is at 2,012, up 17 points or 0.9% in early trading. The S&P is now just 7 points away from its all-time intraday high.

The Dow is up 173 points (1.0%) and the Nasdaq is up 60 points (1.3%).

The rally follows massive market news in Japan, and bullish economic data out of the US.

It Began In Japan

The rally really began in Japan when two pieces of news crossed. First, Nikkei reported that Japan’s $US1.2 trillion behemoth Government Pension Investment Fund would ramp up its exposure to foreign and domestic stocks. Second, the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced a big boost to its quantitative easing stimulus program.

Japan’s stock market exploded, with the Nikkei closing up 4.8%. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.2%.

Even Europe Is Rallying

European stocks are all climbing as well. France’s CAC 40 is up 2.1%; Spain’s IBEX is up 1.8%; Italy’s FTSE MIB is up 2.1%; Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.9%; and Germany’s DAX is up 2.0%.

Earlier Friday, we learned German retail sales plunged 3.2% in September; they were the worst numbers since 2007. European inflation data showed a small rise, up to 0.4% in October; That’s one month of room to breathe for the European Central Bank, a small step away from deflation.

The US Is Looking Great

The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index unexpectedly jumped to 86.0 in October from 84.6 a month ago. The Chicago PMI unexpectedly spiked to a 12-month high of 66.2 in October from 60.5 in September.

“The bounceback in the Barometer marks a solid start to Q4 and suggests that against a backdrop of concerns about weakening growth in Europe and China, the US economy is still growing firmly,” ISM — Chicago said in its release.

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