Despite beginning the day on Wednesday in upbeat fashion, metals finished the day having posted some decent losses. The minutes from the FOMC’s October 28th-29th meeting were due out yesterday, but unsurprisingly, they did not have much of an impact on the marketplace. While most people knew that it was unlikely the Fed would reveal any further information regarding the future of interest rates, investors paid close attention nonetheless.
Another factor this week has been more data and commentary from the struggling European Union. Only a few days ago, the ZEW German economic expectations index came back far better than expected, suggesting that perhaps the German economy isn’t struggling as much as we once thought it was. Also earlier in the week, however, ECB president Mario Draghi was quoted as saying that he and his colleagues have not yet counted out the possibility of utilizing the purchase of government bonds (quantitative easing) as a means of spurring some economic growth. Though he really didn’t get into much detail, most people were shocked to hear him being so upfront and honest about what the ECB thinks about certain shifts in policy. Of course, as the days and weeks progress, we will continue to keep an eye on anything and everything stemming from the EU.
Big Day of Economic Data Lies Ahead
Though much of this week and all of last week was quiet from an economic data standpoint, that will more than likely change by later this afternoon. For the United States, investors are anticipating the release of data regarding existing home sales, manufacturing, and consumer prices. With the last batch of economic data, the employment report for October, being so poor, investors will be hawking over this batch of reports to see if a weakening trend is beginning or if recent employment data was just a small blip in an otherwise nice run of form.
Already released today were economic reports from Europe and China, including poor data on manufacturing. In addition to the sub-par e=manufacturing data from the EU, Japan was on the receiving end of downbeat PMI reading.
Stocks in the US have trended downward for much of the past few days and are continuing to do exactly that as of the early morning hours of Thursday. Despite this week’s pullback of sorts, US stock indexes are and have been performing quite well. With that said, however, a few more poor batches of US economic data and stocks in the US may not continue performing as well as they have been for the past few months and most of 2014.