US stocks calm their britches, holding onto yesterday’s rebound, but still posted sharp losses on the week as the violence and chaos on North Africa continues unabated.
DJIA gains 62 (0.5%) to 12130, still down about 2% on the week; S&P 500 gains 14 (1.1%) to 1320, and Nasdaq jumps 43 (1.6%) to 2781. Crude gains a little ground, and tellingly Treasurys rise, a sign that investors are still looking for safe havens.
Market seems less worried about oil-supply shocks. Still, the surge in crude this week will be filtering through to the pump over the next few weeks, and given the revisions today to 4Q GDP — and what that said about the relative strength of the consumer — the economic effects are yet to be seen.
Listen, the bottom line for us here in the U.S. is that gas prices are going to go up, and all that optimistic talk about the consumer coming back that you were hearing in December was a bit off the mark. Add in that we are going to see a drag to the economy from the state and federal government.
Wages aren’t going anywhere, and while we may see a decent number next Friday on the monthly jobs report, it’s just a seasonally adjusted rebound from what was a seasonally adjusted number in January, and, well, we trashed this particular data point pretty good earlier this week. The bottom line is hiring remains weak, and given the headwinds isn’t going anywhere.
And all that’s assuming the Jasmine Revolution doesn’t have a bigger effect on the global economy than it already is having, and that’s not exactly a safe bet.