Wednesday, 24 October 2007

US stocks and bonds gain amid mixed economic data

Fears of a repeat of 1987 appear to be fast receding, looking at yesterday's performance on Wall Street. From Bloomberg:

U.S. stocks rose the most in two weeks after better-than-expected earnings from Apple Inc. and American Express Co. eased concern the housing slump has depressed consumer spending...

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 13.26, or 0.9 percent, to 1,519.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 109.26, or 0.8 percent, to 13,676.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 45.33, or 1.7 percent, to 2,799.26, helped by a late-session rally on Research In Motion Ltd.'s alliance with Alcatel-Lucent to distribute the BlackBerry e-mail phone in China.

The rise in equities wasn't at the expense of bonds. From Reuters:

The U.S. Treasury debt market eked out gains on Tuesday as bond bulls brushed off a recovery in equities and focused on signs of a slowing economy and prospects of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates...

Two-year Treasury notes...were up 2/32 higher in price for a 3.84 percent yield, down from 3.86 percent late on Monday.

Benchmark 10-year notes...were flat in price for a 4.41 percent yield, down 1 basis point from late Monday.

The Richmond Fed's manufacturing survey for October gave both equity and bond bulls reason for hope. While the manufacturing index for October fell to -5 from 14 in September, the index of expected shipments jumped eighteen points to 36 and the new orders indicator added sixteen points to 35.

In the euro area, industrial orders saw a rise of 0.3 percent in August after falling a revised 2.6 percent in July. However, Edward Hugh looks at the eurozone industrial orders data in greater detail and notes that "Western Europe is slowing visibly".

Slowing is more apparent in the UK after the Confederation of British Industry said yesterday its monthly manufacturing order books balance fell to -6 in October from +6 in September while a quarterly survey showed manufacturers were at their most pessimistic since the beginning of last year.

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