Fri, 1/19/12 3:40 PM – Market Action

Stocks, commodities and gold are up again today, oil and bonds are lower.

Recent US economic news has been better than expected and that helps a lot. The unemployment report yesterday was very good and manufacturing numbers were also. Throw in better home building stats. On the other hand, almost half of companies reporting have failed to surpass earnings estimates, the lowest level in 10 years.

Two things are driving stocks higher this year – the economic news and beginning of the year optimism. Add to that investing of annual contributions from things like profit sharing plans and executive bonuses and you have a good January so far.

Last year had a good January too and climbed for six months before undoing it in the second six months. I will not be the least surprised if this year follows a very roughly similar pattern.