U.S. markets rallied on Thursday following robust January sales figures from a slew of retailers as well as positive economic data on productivity and the non-manufacturing sector. Economic data will again be the focus of attention Friday with the 8:30 a.m. Eastern time release of nonfarm payrolls figures and the unemployment rate.
Economists are expecting payrolls growth of 140,000 for the first month of 2011, following a rise of 103,000 in December. They are also expecting the unemployment rate to tick up to 9.5% from 9.4% in December.
Gold popped yesterday and some traders debate the reason why. Was it an oversold technical bounce or something more? Crude popped yesterday and stocks in the oil patch look phenomenal. Agriculture and fertilizer names took the day off yesterday, but the charts are on fire.
Bernanke ( I need to discover his denial drug) opines that we have no inflation, but as my friend Keith McCullough from Bloomberg and Hedgeye Risk stated yesterday: “Food is up: 17.05% y/y vs.15.57% Fuel up: 11.61% y/y vs. 10.87% Primary Articles up: 18.44% y/y vs. 17.26%”
Ben also said we weren’t in a recession a little while back as we stood on the brink of the Apocalypse with wolves snapping at our collective asses. Ben has a beautifully trimmed beard, but I constantly wonder how these folks find work. We are in the midst of an epic commodity bull market as a result, I guess Ben doesn’t watch the tape.
Good trading today. Premium content here.