Stocks Move Higher and Add to Robust Weekly Rally
Stocks in the US started the trading nearly unchanged, as investors absorbed this week’s robust rally. Despite the weaker than expected economic data released during the week, stocks continue to rally. The Nasdaq was the best performing of the major indices, and broke out on Thursday while the other major indices are following close behind and are poised to hit new all-time highs. Mid-day stock took off with the Dow closing up triple digits, and the S&P 500 index only 0.5% from an all-time high.
Asian stocks were somewhat boosted by tame inflation data released in China on Friday. China’s CPI held steady at +2.5% year over year in January, while producer prices dropped for the 23rd consecutive month with a fall of 1.6%. The benign inflation could give the People’s Bank of China room to loosen monetary policy should the economy slow further.
European stocks were buoyed by stronger than expected economic data released on Friday. Eurozone GDP data has shown that the bloc’s modest recovery strengthened slightly in Q4. The euro-zone’s growth accelerated to 0.3% quarter over quarter from 0.1% in Q3 and topped forecasts of +0.2%, while German GDP increased to +0.4% from +0.3%. Even in France, where data has been variable lately, the economy recovered from a fall of 0.1% in Q3 to expand 0.3% last quarter.
The S&P 500 index is closing in on resistance as momentum climbs to the highs levels since September of 2013. The RSI moved higher with price action which reflects accelerating momentum, while printing near 60 which is on the upper end of the neutral range.
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