US stocks highest this year
After economic data improved, Alcoa reported a profit last week and Macy’s stores reported its first increase in same-store sales in 13 months, investors interpreted these as signs of the end of the recession and moved into stocks with renewed vigour. Their activity helped propel US markets to a best showing this year, and the Dow Jones approaching the 10,000 barrier with 9864.94, the record for ’09. On the currency side, the dollar recovered after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced he would be prepared to tighten monetary policy when the outlook for the economy improved significantly. This week, markets will probably be looking at retail results; should they show positive direction, don’t be surprised if the 10,000 mark is broken soon.