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Investing Specialists

Market Mood Gyrations Continue on an Hourly Basis

Even amid market mood swings courtesy of the Fed, steadily rising employment offset weak manufacturing data.

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The fixation on potential Federal Reserve moves continued yet again this week. Markets gyrated with every new speech from a Fed governor. In fact, all one really needed to trade the market last week was the Fed governor speaking schedule and some knowledge of the speaker's predisposition to support quantitative easing. With tongue firmly in cheek, maybe I should close my columns with the Fed's impending appearances instead of upcoming economic events. (For the curious, you can find the speeches and other Fed activities here.)

One piece of economic data this week, Friday's employment report, did have a very big impact. It was the perfect Goldilocks report: not too hot, and not too cold. It was a nice end to a week that started with some surprisingly weak manufacturing data from throughout the world, this time including the United States. The trade report was no thriller, either, with a generalized slowing in international trade. And construction data was modestly slower than expected, too. From here the week got better for the economy--the ISM report on services showed a surprise increase,  CoreLogic (CLGX) reported a huge jump in home prices, initial unemployment claims dropped, and consumer assets took a big jump even as total consumer debt dropped. My favorite shopping center metric finally showed a very healthy weekly jump and even the averaged data are now back in the safety zone, increasing to 2.8% year-over-year growth (the safety zone is 2.5%-4.0%).

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