The markets in Asia started the week off on a relatively positive note. Japan’s Nikkei soared 2.43 percent to a 4.5 year high, while the yen hit a 33-month low of 94.77 to the dollar before cooling off to 93.78 to the dollar. Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary policy, is reportedly a likely nominee for the top central bank spot in the country. The Hang Seng posted modest a modest gain of 0.17 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.75 percent.
Europe’s STOXX 50 was up 2.26 percent as New York headed into its opening bell, fueled by optimism that Italy’s upcoming election would turn out in favor of of the pro-reform, centre-left Democratic Party. London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.66 percent, while Germany’s DAX increased 2.31 percent.
U.S. futures at 8:35 a.m.: DJIA: +0.45%, S&P 500: +0.42%, NASDAQ: +0.82%.
1) The Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy could finally be producing the measurable economic impact that critics have been waiting to see: job growth in rate-sensitive sectors. According to Bloomberg, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, predicts total 2013 job growth in the U.S. of about 2 million. This increase will be led by jobs in housing construction and vehicle manufacturing, as strength returns to the housing and car markets.
As a result, car makers and dealers, as well as home builders and sellers, are expected to benefit. Bloomberg points out that Ford (NYSE:F) has increased 21 percent since the last round of bond purchases, aimed at keeping rates low, was announced in September. Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) is up 30 percent for the same period. In turn, corporate growth is expected to led to an increase in hiring, and begin to heal one of the weakest parts of the U.S. economy.