US-China trade talks progressing well? Tick. Another strong set of US jobs data? Tick. Corporates beating earnings forecasts? Tick. The Fed’s “insurance” rate cut? Tick.
With all the boxes ticked, it was little surprise Wall Street closed the week at a record high. It was the third record in five days for the benchmark S&P500.
Markets on Friday’s close:ASX SPI 200 futures +0.4pc at 6,671; ASX 200 (Friday’s close) +0.1pc at 6,669AUD: 69.1 US cents; 61.9 euro cents; 53.3 British pence; 74.8 Japanese yen; $NZ1.08US: Dow Jones +1.1pc at 27,347; S&P500 +1pc at 3,067; NASDAQ +1.1pc at 8,386Europe: FTSE +0.8pc at 7,302; DAX +0.7pc at 12,961; EuroStoxx50 +0.5pc at 3,624Commodities: Brent oil +3.4pc at $US61.69/barrel; Gold flat at $US1,514/ounce; Iron ore $US85.00/tonne
Green shoots were popping up everywhere.
The US jobs numbers could not have been much better; unemployment still near a 50-year low, wages growth a solid 3 per cent and employment growing by 128,000 — a very solid effort given the 42,000 striking General Motors workers were deemed to be unemployed and those jobs lost.
It was certainly taken as a signal US consumers would continue to do their bit to keep the economy from grinding to a halt.
US manufacturers seem to be in a happier place too. The latest IHS survey showed a modest expansion in activity, having stalled for a couple of months mid-year.
“Tentative signs of renewed vigour are appearing in the US manufacturing sector, with the survey’s production gauge having now risen for three successive months to suggest that the soft patch bottomed out in July,” IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said.
“Growth of new orders hit a six-month high, fuelled in part by a renewed increase in exports, prompting producers to take