Posts Tagged ‘sovereign debt crisis’
In a consumer-driven economy, what retailers say about their businesses is very important. For the most part, the retail sector has been saying that business conditions are getting better. A lot of retail stocks performed very well up until the recent stock market correction and valuations are reasonable. I’ve been writing about an underlying strength in the stock market and the U.S. economy and you can see it right now in the retail sector.
The strong first-quarter financial results of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT) beat consensus and the company expects strong profit growth in the current quarter. A lot of other brand-name companies in the retail sector reported very good numbers for the first quarter and many retail stocks are trading close to record highs on the stock market. Right now, with all the available news and lower oil prices, I’d say that second-quarter earnings season is shaping up to be surprisingly strong.
So, we have a stock market that’s in correction; however, economic news is showing mixed, but generally improving data. Lower oil prices stimulate consumers to spend and they lower the cost of doing business in the industrial sector. While speculators might bet that lower oil prices are a put option on the global economy, the spot price action directly affects the retail sector and that’s good for the economy.
As I keep saying, if we didn’t have the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, I believe the stock market would be a lot higher than it is currently. Corporate earnings growth may not be robust, but it isn’t flat either. The retail sector has been and should continue … Read More
Gold and oil prices are having a really difficult time right now and I suspect that the falling price trend will continue for another month or so. The spot price of gold is going down because that commodity was due for a correction and because of strength in the U.S. dollar, which is trading up on worries about the eurozone. Oil prices are going down because of a massive of glut of oil in storage in the U.S. market and due to reduced expectations for global economic growth. It is the age of austerity and, frankly, I think it’s fair to expect a lot of change over the next 18 months, and by change I mean politically, economically and socially.
So far during the recent price correction, the stock market is holding up well. If the S&P 500 Index broke 1,300, I’d be more concerned, but because the market isn’t overpriced, institutional investors will continue to buy dividend yield when the market retreats. As for gold and oil prices; being commodities, they could experience significant price swings for the rest of this year, even as part of a long-term uptrend.
It’s going to be very difficult speculating on the long side in gold and oil stocks over the next several months. Oddly, it seems like the eurozone is calling the shots in U.S. capital markets. At the very least, the sovereign debt crisis is responsible for domestic investor sentiment.
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