Leading economic indicators are providing early signs that we may be exiting a recent soft patch and the economic recovery could be poised for a reacceleration.
Retail sales rebound in January. US retail sales rose 5.3% month over month in January according to the US Census Bureau, ahead of Bloomberg consensus forecasts of 1.1%. The surge in retail sales was the highest in seven months, a strong response following December’s 1% decline as fresh stimulus checks helped spur consumer demand following the headwinds caused by rising COVID-19 cases at the end of 2020. Further, strong January retail sales should remove much of the risk for the US economy to stall in the first quarter of 2021.
Mardi gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” and this holiday is celebrated on the day before the first day of Lent. Historically, for Catholics, Lent is a period of fasting, and, before starting the fast on Ash Wednesday, many people liked to relax a bit on the Tuesday before it.
“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying.
Every four years, Washington D.C. and Wall Street converge as Americans elect a president and Wall Street tries to figure out what the outcome means for the stock and bond markets. And since so many hypotheses on this topic abound, it’s hard to keep track of them all.
The Super Bowl Indicator suggests stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner has come from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team has won, stocks fall. We would be the first to admit that this indicator has no connection to the stock market, but “data don’t lie”: The S&P 500 Index has performed better, and posted positive gains with greater frequency, over the past 54 Super Bowl games when NFC teams have won. Of course, it doesn’t always work, as stocks did quite well the past two years even though AFC teams won.
Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys was right about “pickn’ up good vibrations.” He never even met the girl, but he knew she was right by the colors of her clothes, the sunlight in her hair, and the smell of her perfume. She piqued his energy and attention.