Stocks Rise on Energy Rally; Dollar Rallies ahead of Syrian Conflict; The 5% Recovery: Rebounding from Recession?

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Stocks Rise on Energy Rally (Bloomberg)

Stocks soared today, causing the S&P 500 to bounce back from its eight-week low. Energy shares surged as oil prices moved higher amid speculation there will be a military strike in Syria. “We’re simply just seeing a little bit of bounce back from what was very bad action yesterday,” Walter Todd, chief investment officer of Greenwood Capital Associates LLC in Greenwood, South Carolina, said. “There are probably starting to be opportunities that are being created in certain segments of the market as a result of this sell-off, and investors are wisely looking to see if they can take advantage of some of those.”

Dollar Rallies ahead of Syrian Conflict (Reuters)

The dollar rallied against a broad range of currencies today, as investors sought refuge in the greenback’s safety in advance of potential military action in Syria. “The dollar’s rally is clearly related to Syria,” said David Starkey, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Toronto. “Investors realize that the dollar is still the safest currency to be in right now. Also momentum is indicating that it’s time for the dollar to pick up a little ground.”

Dollar Rallies ahead of Syrian Conflict (CNBC)

If the wealthiest five percent of Americans were asked about how the economy is faring since the Great Recession began in 2009, they’d likely respond that the recovery is fine. But the majority of Americans — the remaining 95 percent — would beg to disagree. A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley adds more detail as to why there has been more economic inequality: “Huge leaps in the income and wealth of the top 5 percent mask the decline of income and wealth of the bottom 95 percent. Average all wealth and income and it appears that the economy is expanding to the benefit of all, when it fact only the top 5 percent have escaped the recession; the recession never ended for the bottom 95 percent.” Specifically, lower income households have been hit the hardest, because these demographics have their wealth concentrated in housing, which is currently hit hard due to falling home prices.

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It was only in recent weeks that Europe pulled out of its longest recession since World War II (1-1/2 years) due largely to the turnaround in the French and German economies.

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