Strong Jobs Data in America
February 24, 2012 | 07:54 AM
Posted by David Mason
The Unemployment Claims weekly data released yesterday in the United States came in as expected at 351,000, but is down overall for the month. This positive trend continuous what has been a cautious yet optimistic conclusion that the U.S. economy is taking its first steps on the road to recovery. Strong numbers from today’s New Home Sales report will further strengthen the acknowledgment that the U.S. is starting to turn the corner on the global recession. Both the EUR and the GBP are down against the greenback this morning, trading at 1.3365 and 1.5732. The U.S. Dollar Index is up this morning by 0.08%, trading at 78.75 USD.
Oil jumps over 108
Prices of crude oil continue to climb, up this morning by 0.60%, valued at 108.47 USD per barrel. Despite an increase in U.S. oil reserves and the tragic state of European finances, oil took its cue from strong employment data in the U.S. and elsewhere to climb to a nine month high. A military exercise by Iran designed to protect Iranian oil fields in the event of armed conflict may have reminded investors that oil supply could become unstable sometime in the near future.
Europe to contract?
It appears that EU officials are no longer able to hide the pitiful state of their economy, admitting yesterday that the 17 member common currency union may very well suffer from a contraction of 0.3%, instead of the previous forecast of 0.5% growth. The EU believes that the Spanish economy will contract by 1.0% and that the Italians will suffer an even greater contraction of 1.3%. Spain is suffering from crippling unemployment, currently at 23%. Protests turned violent in the Spanish city of Valencia, when police roughed up several protesters at a school. Similar to Greece, there is fear in some circles of the Spanish government that austerity measures could cause civil unrest, and even a revolt.
U.S. stocks up on strong data
Positive employment data in the United States pushed stocks up in trading yesterday. The Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed higher yesterday, with the Nasdaq showing the greatest gains at 0.81%. The Nikkei is up in Asian trading today by 0.54% and sitting at 9647.38.