Jobs Data Boosts Dow Past 14,000 (Bloomberg)
Manufacturing and jobs data released today pushed U.S. stocks upward, allowing the Dow to jump 148.14 points, 1.1%, to pass 14,000 for the first time in five years. “The market is greeting the jobs numbers very happily,” Wayne Wilbanks, chief investment officer at Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC in Norfolk, Va., said. “The U.S. economy continues to benefit from the two in particular very positive trends” in manufacturing and real estate, he said.
Auto Sales Have Strong January (CNBC)
Ford and Toyota gave strong January sales reports, and the automotive industry is set to report a sales rate of 15.4 or 15.5 million for January, showing strength which is likely to extend through the rest of the year. “We still see positive economic trends whether it is housing, consumer credit, etc.,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales at General Motors. “Consumers have been waiting to see some of these things play out by way of taxes and government spending and that is breaking loose a little bit.”
Euro Beats Dollar and Yen (Reuters)
Today, the euro hit its best point against the U.S. dollar in 14 months and its highest level against the yen in the last 33 months. This was due to expectations-surpassing manufacturing data from the euro zone compounded with forecasts of easy monetary policies from both the United States and Japan. “The euro has been bid for the last month on reduced tail risks in the euro zone and a shrinking balance sheet of the European Central Bank is pushing short-term rates higher as a result. Everywhere else people are printing money, so on a relative basis, the ECB is tighter,” said Greg Anderson, currency strategist at CitiFX in New York.