Dollar Posts Four-Year High against Yen… (Reuters)
Last week’s U.S. non-farm unemployment report has evolved into the Swiss Army Knife of the investing world, based upon its many uses. Most recently, the jobs report has been credited with providing the spark that’s fortifying America’s currency comeback against the yen and others. Specifically, April’s data reflected a five-year low for the number of new unemployment insurance applicants. What’s more significant here is that if the United States can achieve an unemployment rate of 7 percent, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and crew would be able to end quantitative easing (QE) and save the government $85 billion in monthly expenditures. Even though ending QE isn’t cut and dried, investors shouldn’t take their eyes off of this possibility and what it might mean about a possible market pullback.
European investors seem to be gathering momentum exactly when its least needed – right before the traditional time to sell equities in May. Still, though, I can’t imagine these battle-tested investors turning up their noses at gains — no matter how late in the spring they appear. Indeed, a couple of European-based heavyweights are expected to report good news today: ArcelorMittal (the world’s largest steelmaker) and BT Group Plc (a communications services giant). In anticipation of the reports, European markets are creeping higher already: England’s FTSE is up .49 percent, STOXX 50 is ahead .63 percent and Germany’s DAX rose .61 percent. The rest of May will be fun to watch…
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