US Economic Update – 08 February 2015
US equity markets close the week higher on oil price bounce and a strong payrolls report
US indices benefited from the bounce in oil prices as much as those elsewhere in the world, with both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closing almost 4% higher for the week.
US investors also gained from another solid non farm payrolls report for the month of January, which highlighted an increase of 257,000 in the number of new jobs added to economy during the period, against expectations for a lesser increase of 236,000.
The bounce in payrolls numbers will have helped to allay some of the fears which had built during recent weeks over the sustainability of the US recovery given the impact of economic divergences upon the US dollar and therefore, corporate profits for externally facing companies.
The key event for US focused investors throughout the week ahead will be the release of retail sales figures for the month of January.
While the projection is for a further contraction in the pace of activity within this domain we note that these barometers have already undergone a sustained period of under-performance since Q2 in 2014 and are now coming off of a low base. As a result, we believe that the risk surrounding Thursday’s release is slanted toward the upside.
Dow Jones Industrial Average / 10 Minute Intervals
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