Thursday, December 18, 2003


You may have noticed that the Dow Industrial Average closed up +102.82. There were three pieces of good news, as reported by the AP:
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new jobless claims fell last week by a seasonally adjusted 22,000 to 353,000, the lowest level since Nov. 1. The decline was much larger than analysts' expectations.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board reported that its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose to 114.2 last month, offering hope that the economic recovery was gaining momentum. The 0.3 percent rise was in line with analysts' expectations.

And the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its business conditions index, which measures the region's manufacturing sector, rose to 32.1 in December � up from 25.9 in November and the seventh straight month of gains. Economists were expecting a more modest reading of 25.

"The numbers show that the jobs situation might be better than people expected all along ... and the economy is actually going well," said Tim Smalls, trader at SG Cowen Securities.
Keen on truckin', America.

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