Did the NBER announcement help the stock market this morning?
Lost in all the commentary around the president's Town Hall appearance on CNBC was the NBER's* pronouncement that the recession officially ended in June 2009.
While most point to a strong technical move as the primary mover this morning (the market moved when the S&P 500 passed Friday's high of 1131 to break out of its trading range to a 4-month high), the NBER announcement, which came out at 10:23am ET — as the market was heading up — may have been a help.
Birinyi Associates noted that now that the expansion is "officially" 14 months old, some comparisons to past recessions are in order. He looks at where we were were at 7 other recessions going back to 1961, compared to the recession we have just exited:
1) the S&P 500's expansion since June 2009, a little more than 11 percent, is better than all but 3 of the 7 recessions;
2) both ISM Manufacturing and Industrial Production are in line with past expansions;
3) retail sales growth is at the bottom of the range;
4) nonfarm payrolls has seen a continued contraction, "but we would note that this is not too different than the previous two expansions where there was a 'jobless' recovery."
5) "The data at 14 months, we believe, does not support the belief by many that the economy is heading for a double-dip recession and hence we remain positive."
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