Despite gloomy news about consumers, stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are trading higher. Perhaps it has something to do with a better report about the U.S. trade deficit.
Consumer sentiment fell in the early part of this month to the weakest in three months. Concerns about jobs and income continue to weigh on consumers’ minds, Reuters reports. This could mean restrained spending around the holidays. (How to play retailer’s price wars).
The U.S. trade deficit widened in September by a larger-than-expected 18%, the highest level since January. Imports also jumped by the most in 16 years. The trade deficit’s growth reflected increasing demand for oil and cars amid the economic rebound, reports Bob Willis for Bloomberg.
Oil prices dipped to their lowest point in a month as investors began to pay more close attention to the slump in demand for energy. Although for much of the year many thought demand would resume, consumers and businesses are still using less gasoline than they were a year ago, says Chris Kahn for the Associated Press. United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO) is trading flat this morning.
Europe has officially left its recession. The eurozone economy was largely propelled back to health on the strength of export growth and improving industrial production in Germany, its largest economy. GDP for the 16 countries making up the region expanded by 0.4% in the second quarter, reports Matt Saltmarsh for The New York Times. iShares MSCI Germany (NYSEArca: EWG) is up 1.2% this morning. For more stories about Europe, visit our Europe category.