US stocks charging on improving data

The Dow has has added more than 130 points at the time of writing and the S&P 500 is up by around 1.2% to above 1,700 as healthier manufacturing data was released in the US. 

Aussie stock futures have also climbed strongly which will once again throw a spanner in the works of those who called shorting the market yesterday.

That said, ANZ's Shane Oliver, who always seems to take a sanguine view, quite rightly noted that there is a fair risk of a market correction in the next two months (so much uncertainty about the US stimulus plans for one thing) although Oliver sees the index as being higher at the year's end. Sounds like a sensible viewpoint to me.

At this stage the Federal Reserve believes that low inflation could hold back the US economy and thus it will continue with its $85 billion monthly bond purchases in order to stimulate activity...for now.

There has been a little run of good news in the last day or two. The US economy grew more than had been expected in the second quarter, and stronger PMI manufacturing data from Europe as well as US manufacturing data improving growing at the fastest pace in two years. This follows improving unemployment data in the US.

The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi seems to believe that Europe is 'through the worst' of its many problems.

The recent flow of good news has seen a colossal amount of funds flowing into US equities, more than $38 billion into ETFs last month, the most since December 2008, sending the index up by 5% in July alone. 

Meanwhile, it has sure been a long, slow haul for Bloomberg's consumer comfort survey, yet it has now reached its best reading in five years as house prices, stock valuations and economic data all improve.

Source: ETF

Great news if global economies and confidence are picking up. However, stand back and wait for the stock market to whipsaw when the plug on Fed stimulus is eventually pulled....


Long hot summer day over here in England as Australia take control of the Third Ashes Test in Manchester, captain Michael Clarke leading the way with 125 not out.

That should put an end to the silly "ten-nil" predictions at least. As Geoffrey Boycott said on TMS during the First Test "anyone who predicted ten-nil is just idiotic". Not only did Australia come within a hair's breadth (or a Haddin snick) of winning the First Test, they are now fully in command of the Third Test.

The flip side to this is that although the wicket may increasingly be taking spin, it seems to be a good batting pitch, so Cook will know that England are potentially just one good batting performance away from retaining the Ashes.

I've always felt that England should win this series but that Australia could definitely surprise them Down Under. 

Losing Pattinson, however, could be a real body blow for the Aussies - I was at the 'G' a couple of years ago when he blasted away the Indians and you could only be impressed with his potent combination of blistering pace and accuracy.

England's first choice XI is strong, but perhaps they don't have great strength in depth. Swann may be their trump card.

Hopefully, the return series will be all square going into Sydney so I can catch up with Cookie for a shandy during a live Aussie Ashes series. Last time we caught up for a beer in Sydney it was the Poms who were on the receiving end of the five-zip taunts! We didn't hook up in 2010 as Cookie was busy shattering all-comers batting records.

For a chang- up I've got tickets for Adelaide and Sydney Tests this time around, instead of my usual Brisbane trip. Bring it on!

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