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Investing Specialists

U.S. Exports Hold Their Own in a Sloppy World Economy

The trade deficit numbers looked extremely good--but are they too good to be true?

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There weren't a lot of economic headlines, corporate earnings reports, or eurozone disasters this week, putting the U.S. stock market in snooze mode. The intraday top-to-bottom range of the S&P 500 for the entire week was just over 1%. Point-to-point, the market was up a modest 1.0% for the week. (By the way, the market is now up 13% year to date.)

Data out of China showed lower-than-expected inflation and less trade, both of which are likely to cause the Chinese government to continue attempting to boost its economy. In the U.S., exports continued to move upward even as the world economy slowed and imports fell. Released secondary employment data seemed to suggest that last week's stronger employment report was no fluke. In credit news, data from the Federal Reserve suggested that consumers were less willing to take out loans even as banks modestly lessened their standards. 

Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.