Holiday Retail Sales Up 5.1%…Biggest Post-Christmas Stock Market Rally Ever…What’s Going on Here?

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For America to prosper, we must remain free. For America to remain free, we must be prosperous.

American Capitalism is the engine which drives a strong, vibrant economy. American Capitalism is the result of the courageous Entrepreneurial Spirit of American Citizens. The same “Can Do” attitude which led to Western Expansion and triumphs against those before-mentioned enemies, foreign and domestic.

President Ronald Reagan often referred to America as “The Shining City on the Hill” meaning that her people and the Sovereign Nation itself were an example to the rest of the world as to what a free people were capable of creating for themselves with God’s Providence.

Reagan knew that American Exceptionalism was an inspiration to the rest of the free world, not a bone of contention as America’s previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue claimed it to be.

All that being said, yesterday delivered good news on the Economic Front.

Per ISCS.org

Retailers are having their best holiday season in six years, with Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve sales up 5.1 percent over the same period last year, according to a consumer data tracking report.

Consumers spent more than $850 billion during the period, in stores and online, according to the report, put out by Mastercard Spending Pulse. Apparel retail sales rose 7.9 percent compared to last year, the category’s strongest performance since 2010. Spending on home improvement increased 9 percent.

“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “By combining the right inventory with the right mix of online versus in-store, many retailers were able to give consumers what they wanted via the right shopping channels.”

In a related story from CNBC.com

Stocks posted their best day in nearly a decade on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its largest one-day point gain in history. Rallies in retail and energy shares led the gains, as Wall Street recovered the steep losses suffered in the previous session.

The 30-stock Dow closed 1,086.25 points higher, or 4.98 percent, at 22,878.45. Wednesday’s gain also marked the biggest upside move on a percentage basis since March 23, 2009, when it rose 5.8 percentage points.

The S&P 500 also catapulted 4.96 percent — its best day since March 2009 — to 2,467.70 as the consumer discretionary, energy and tech sectors all climbed more than 6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite also had its best day since March 23, 2009, surging 5.84 percent to 6,554.36.

Wednesday also marked the biggest post-Christmas rally for U.S. stocks ever.

Retailers were among the best performers on Wednesday, with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) jumping 4.7 percent. Shares of Wayfair, Kohl’s and Dollar General all rose more than 7 percent. Data released by Mastercard SpendingPulse showed retailers were having their best holiday season in six years. Amazon’s stock also jumped 9.45 percent, snapping a four-day losing streak, after the company said it sold a record number of items this holiday season.

Energy stocks also jumped as U.S. crude oil prices catapulted more than 8 percent. Shares of Marathon Oil and Hess were the best performers within the energy sector, jumping 11.9 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Now, I’m no economist, but, I am smart enough to understand how, in a capitalist economic system such as ours, the health of our economy depends a great deal on both consumers and investors.

Reading different sources for today’s post, I found a lot of writers hedging their bets on whether yesterday’s remarkable gains in the Stock Market were a portent of things to come or not.

The thing is, retail experiences revenue gains when their customers, i.e., consumers, have the disposable income with which to but the products which retailers offer.

More Americans are working, while unemployment remains at a record low. Meanwhile, workers are allowed to keep more of their paycheck thanks to Trump’s tax cuts.

Now, I may be way off base, but, I would think America’s economy continues to improve, consumers will buy more, and investors will feel more comfortable about growing businesses which in turn will hire more Americans, etcetera, etcetera (as Yul Brenner used to say in “The King and I”).

Now, I recognize that the other thing that encourages both consumers and investors is strong leadership from an American President who not only promotes economic growth but also has the business acumen that will enable his economic programs to succeed.

I believe that we have that in our current president.

Now, if those who wish our nation to fail will just get out of the way and let him work for us.

Until He Comes,

KJ