Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Consumer Confidence in United States Up

It's just been a horrible last two weeks for Mitt Romney. First, his ill-conceived remarks on the crisis in Libya and Egypt, heretofore off limits for political candidates to speak out against U.S. foreign policy. Then, the ill-conceived remark that he doesn't care about 47% of the people in the country. Then, the release of his one tax return (rather than 10 years of returns, which is customary for presidential candidates), which not only raised more questions than it asked, but showed him paying just 14% in income tax, less than millions of American families at a time in which the fundraiser tape shows how much he disdains Americans who pay no tax (such as senior citizens and high school and college students).

On top of all that, we get news that the unemployment situation is getting better, businesses are hiring more, home sales are up nearly 30% over last year and home prices are up. And today, the report came out that consumer confidence rose in September, as renewed optimism about the job market gave the indicator a boost.

Renewed optimism, something the Democrats spoke up often during their National Convention. Renewed optimism, a phrase Romney and the Republicans hate.

The Consumer Confidence Index measures how Americans feel about the economy, and it jumped from an upwardly revised 61.3 in August to 70.3 in September, a jump of 14.68%. Economists expected the reading to be 63, so the figure surprised even those who study it closely.

U.S. Companies Add 201,000 New Jobs

Private companies added 201,000 new jobs last month, much better than the 143,000 jobs economists expected.

The economy needs to add about 150,000 jobs per month to keep pace with the growing population. Anything above that lowers the unemployment rate. Construction was once again one of the key elements of the job picture with 10,000 new jobs, its biggest gain since March. If people can afford new houses and new businesses, there's nothing in the economy that they can't afford.

Which essentially means that the U.S. economy is back. But in another excellent sign, a report by firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas showed that planned job cuts in the U.S. hit a 20-month low.

U.S. Home Prices Up Again

For the third straight month, home prices in all 20 major markets in the United States are up, this time to the level they were nine years ago.

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the U.S. housing market, the average home price rose 1.6% over the already-increasing price from last month.

In other words, if you were waiting to buy a house to get the best possible price, you waited too long. If you're selling your price, you'll do better than you did eight years ago.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

U.S. Housing Starts Up 29%

The suddenly booming U.S. economy got another piece of excellent news--housing starts numbered 750,000 last month.  That is a whopping 29% gain over the same period just one year ago.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Voter ID Law in Pennsylvania Takes a U-Turn

Today the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated a ruling upholding the state's controversial Voter ID law, ordering a lower court to ascertain whether voters actually have liberal and easy acces to the required. Republicans were hoping the law would be upheld so as to limit who votes in the upcoming election.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Democratic Convention Leads to Stock Market Rally

Last week, we told you that the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell up to 300 points during the Republican National Convention.  We promised to inform you on the stock market performance during the Democratic Convention.  When the Democratic Convention opened in Charlotte, North Carolina last week, the Dow Jones stood at 13,035.  At the close of last week, the market was 13,296, a gain of 261 points.

Obama Gets Bigger Bounce from Convention

In the week of the GOP Convention and the week following, Mitt Romney got about a one-point bounce in popularity.  The Democratic Convention is still fresh in the voters' minds, and with four days to go to measure a similar time-frame to Romeny's one-point bounce, Obama has already received a five-point bounce.

The two candidates for president were tied at the open of the Democratic Convention last week.  A new tracking poll by Gallup indicates that Obama now leads 49-44 over Romney.  We will watch the next few days to see if the bounce is greater than five points.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dow Jones Stock Market Average Up 136 After Clinton Speech

We told you that the stock market was down as much as 300 during the Republican Convention.  After one speech last night, that of former president Bill Clinton, the Dow Jones is up 146 points today.

We told you that was an important thing to watch and we will continue to do so today and the rest of the week to see what investors think of the Democrats.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

U.S. Car Sales Up 19.9%

The United States economy is beginning to roar, as automobile sales were up a sharp 19.9% according to Autodata. That is an annual sales pace of 14.52 million vehicles.

Dow Jones at 13,035 Prior to Democratic Convention

The Dow Jones Industrials stock average sits at 13,035.91 prior to the start of the Democratic National Convention.  Investors and brokers will listen intently for news out of Charlotte, North Carolina as to how the Democrats can move the country forward.  The market dropped 300 points during the Republican National Convention as, unfortunately, the GOP gave zero details as to how it could help the country.

The Dow Jones was at 8,000.86 on the first trading day following President Barack Obama's Inauguration on January 20, 2009.  The market initially dropped to 6626.94 on March 2 of 2009 before legislation could be passed.  That represents a gain of 6,409 points from the low and 5,035 points since Obama took office, gains of 96.71% and 62.93%, respectively.

It will be interesting to see how the market responds to the Democrats, especially after their negative response to the Republicans.