Sun comes back out on Wall Street

US stocks are going from strength to strength as improved data drives confidence. Marina Gerner reports.


"Over the past six months, the stockmarket has gone from inconsolable to imperturbable," says Michael Santoli on CNBC. The S&P 500 is just shy of its record high of last September. Wall Street tends to set the tone for global equities, so it's no wonder the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index is at a seven-month high.

This is partly due to improved data. After last year's wobble, the US economy is regaining its strength. "Mortgage applications... and durable goods orders indicate a steadying of the ship," saysTan Kai Xian in a Gavekal Research note. In other positive news, both Chinese and US manufacturing data have improved. The two superpowers may also be on the verge of a trade deal, another development fuelling confidence.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

What's more, the section of the yield curve that briefly inverted (a signal of recession, as we noted last week) is back to normal again. US employment continues to be strong with 180,000 jobs created in March, and an unemployment rate of 3.8%, the lowest level since 1969. Average hourly wages have grown 3.4% year-on-year, which bodes well for consumption.

Earnings are expected to bounce

Goldilocks is back

For now, then, a strengthening US economy and a dovish Fed bode well for US and global liquidity. "Eventually the central bank could take the punchbowl away, but for now the drinks are on the house." So the US-led global stockmarket rally looks set to keep going. Expect small caps to lead the way, says Xian: they tend to do best in a recovery phase with a steepening yield curve.




How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Stock markets

The British equity market is shrinking

British startups are abandoning public stockmarkets and turning to deep-pocketed Silicon Valley venture capitalists for their investment needs.
8 Nov 2019

Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again

The hiring slowdown does not signal recession for the US economy. Growth is just moving down a gear, says Brian Pellegrini.
25 Oct 2019
Stock markets

There are lots of reasons to be bearish – but you should stick with the bulls

There are plenty of reasons to be gloomy about the stockmarkets. But the trend remains up, says Dominic Frisby. And you don’t want to bet against the …
17 Jul 2019

Most Popular


Currency Corner: how is the New Zealand dollar doing against its US counterpart?

The New Zealand dollar has been doing well against the US dollar in recent months, but has started to wobble a little. Is it still a buy? Dominic Fris…
20 Jan 2020
Share tips

India’s small and mid-cap stocks are set for big gains – here are three to buy now

Each week, a professional investor tells us where he’d put his money. This week: David Cornell of the India Capital Growth Fund highlights three favou…
20 Jan 2020
Share tips

Class acts going cheap: buy into Europe’s best bargains

Value investing appears to be making a comeback, while shares on this side of the Atlantic are more appealing on metrics such as price/earnings ratios…
16 Jan 2020
Share tips

Share tips of the week

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
17 Jan 2020