Daily Data Flow: Fed Fuels Rise in Stocks; Surprising Oil and Gas Boom; Italy Election Still Dragging Euro

Fed Fuels Rise in Stocks (Bloomberg)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at its highest point since 2007, as investors were encouraged by the prospects of the Federal Reserve continuing its stimulus measures. This was enough to overcome worries about spending cuts and China. “Excluding this quarter, which will be impacted by the sequester, the economy probably strengthens as the year goes on,” said Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer at Boston-based Fiduciary Trust Co. “The Fed is going to be our friend for an extended period of time, and as the old adage goes, don’t fight the Fed.”

Oil and Gas Boom Surprising (CNBC)
With oil production in the United States at a 20-year high and demand at a 17-year low, even industry insiders have been caught by surprise. “The view I have is the U.S. will be a lot less dependent with Canada. That will really reduce imports, combined with more fuel-efficient cars, from outside North America. We’ll still be importing some, but it’s certainly a re-balancing of global oil. That oil that was coming to the United States will go somewhere else and that somewhere else would be Asia,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS. “The other place where oil demand is really growing happens to be the Middle East.”

Italian Elections Still Impacting Euro (Reuters)
The euro continued to fall against both the dollar and the yen today, as investors still were concerned about the uncertainty posed by the recent Italian elections, as well as expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates sooner than predicted. “The euro continues to be firmly out of favor, as has been the case since the outcome of the Italian parliamentary election last month,” said Samarjit Shankar, director of market strategy at BNY Mellon on Boston. “That rekindled yet another bout of investor concerns due to the political uncertainty in the country in particular and the commitment of euro zone policy makers to austerity in general.”

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European investors awoke to a key change in their world on Monday. The Greek economy has been reclassified from a “developed” market to an “emerging” one by fund manager Russell Investments.

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