Is The Economy Finally Starting To Turn?
I know, that seems like an odd question on the brink of my post about GM filing for bankruptcy and my post last week asking where the jobs were. But there are some interesting signs that things might be ready to go forward, and if so, my prediction from January that things would be getting better by summer will be coming true.
Why the positive outlook? The first thing to point to is the stock market, which has just come off its best month of the year, and I’m talking the full calendar year, going back to last year. We’ve gone from that super low of almost 6,500 a few months ago to 8,659. Still a long way to go before we get back to that 10,000, but I think we’ll get there by year end. Not that I’m Jim Cramer; I’m just hopeful.
Second, pending home sales jumped to 6.7% in April, which is the biggest monthly gain in more than 7 years. Now, those numbers seem contrary to other numbers I’d seen posted for April home starts, but so be it. We’re looking for positives, right?
We’re not hearing about so many companies dumping thousands of employees in one shot as often, though we’re also not hearing about many new companies coming up and adding new jobs. But governments are doing better with some of the stimulus packages, so there are some new jobs being created here and there, which is what was supposed to happen.
Of course, we also heard yesterday that Citigroup, which used to be the be-all, end-all of banking groups in the world, is being bounced from the NYSE, and I wish I could feel some sympathy but I don’t. We, the people, are now the proud owners of this bunch of cheats and bullies, and we could own Bank of America soon also. Yeah, that’s a lot of hate coming from me, but try to find someone who hasn’t been negatively affected by one of these banks over the past few years. They led the way early on in jumping interest rates on credit cards and changing terms at will, giving everyone else the idea. Nope, no tears coming from me.
People are starting to spend money, and have plans on spending money; that usually means people are getting more comfortable with things. Or maybe some of them are just ready to snap up some of the great housing deals. Who hasn’t read that homes that used to be worth a million dollars can now be snapped up at prices of homes that go for around $250,000 in Florida and California? If I wanted to move to either area, I’d be ready to snap that up. By the way, just asking, but when is the last time anyone remembers getting an offer for a new credit card in the mail?
Man, I’m ready for a better economy; what say you?