Monday, March 05, 2012

Stocks and Economy News 119

China Slices 2012 Growth Target to Eight-Year Low

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao cut his nation's 2012 growth target to an eight-year low of 7.5 percent and made boosting consumer demand the year's first priority as Beijing looks to wean the economy off its reliance on external demand and foreign capital.
He lowered the target from a longstanding annual goal of 8 percent, a move investors anticipated so that Beijing has some economic leeway to rebalance the economy and defuse price pressures in the run up to a leadership change later this year.
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All American Investor

The ‘Tides’ of March
First came March 2000, when the Internet bubble burst. Then came March 2009, when the great 2007-2009 bear market breathed its last breath.

But before you work yourself up into a greater fit of anxiety about this coming month than you are at any other time, consider what a careful analysis of the historical record shows: There’s only an 8% chance that the bull market will come to an end in March—the very same odds that apply to any month.
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The best are bullish, the worst are not
The stock market timers with the best long-term record are, on balance, bullish.

The consensus of those on the Hulbert Financial Digest's monitored list with the worst records, in contrast, is far more bearish.

That is perhaps one of the best arguments right now in favor of a higher stock market in March — especially when coupled with the news that there is no particular reason to expect the market’s major trend to shift during the month.
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Euro zone drags on world economy as services slide
The debt-ridden euro zone acted as a drag on the world economy at the start of the year and is seemingly destined to slide back into recession just as monetary policymakers are running out of ammunition.

Data from the euro zone's private sector published on Monday showed a sharp downturn among Italian and Spanish businesses dragged the currency bloc back into decline last month. Growth slowed in Germany, the region's biggest and strongest economy, and stalled in France.

The European data followed slightly more upbeat purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) from Asia, with China services growth picking up and India's slowing, but maintaining a robust pace.
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Original content Bob DeMarco, All American Investor