Conrad Strauss – Mixed Messages From Recent Economic Data.

Conrad Strauss addressed investors on mixed messages from U.S economic data. U.S. economic data is sending thoroughly mixed messages about the near-term path of recovery. Although not particularly comforting given ongoing risks emanating from Europe. However it’s better than the unequivocal weakness that prevailed recently. Consumer confidence offered some reassurance, jumping to a high and showing other encouraging signs. Better than expected consumer confidence numbers put a little more confidence, like most measures of economic activity, back to the levels seen in the past.

Views on the labour market, however, look to be rising at a much better pace. The labour differential (between jobs plentiful and hard to get) continued to improve. That measure asses the unemployment rate very well. However a sharper than expected fall in U.S. home prices was seen relatively stale as a data point, though was enough to remind the Wall Street crowd that this fundamental source of growth remains in a rut with no end in sight. The recent positive momentum of home sales data has not carried over into housing prices.

Conrad Strauss reportedly discussed with investors the effects from Europe’s problems. In an environment where real earnings continue to slip further into negative terrain on a year to year basis, hiring remains slow and credit availability is extremely tight, and confidence is prone to shocks. Consumers will be hard-pressed to expand as fast as they would like. With this sizeable component of GDP already so weak, the impact from decelerating growth in exports on the back of a European-driven global slowdown could make the near future even more painful.

Investors monitoring the ongoing market reactions should be able to find solace in new sectors and even different markets. Being tied down to one sector of one market place could cripple potential and make it hard for any involvement in markets being criticised and plagued by fearful sentiments. Every day new…

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