Rebound Evidence Grows

Posted by: Joe Weber on June 05

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The case that a rebound in the economy is under way is gaining more ground — or at least more adherents. Sherry Cooper, chief economist for BMO Capital Markets, argues today in a new report that the worst may indeed be behind us.

Cooper, no Pollyanna, points to signs of improvement in the U.S. housing market, rising consumer confidence and a rally in financial stocks to argue that the economies of the U.S. and Canada, at least, are bottoming. Taking note of the new jobs report, she says the U.S. cut a net 345,000 jobs in May, the smallest loss in eight months.

The Toronto-based economist adds that stock markets have risen sharply since March 9 as the biggest U.S. banks announced they were profitable in the first quarter. The rally in the S&P 500 above its 200-day average is sending a bullish signal, she says, after the index traded below that level for the longest period since the 1930s. The three-month rise in the S&P 500 has been the biggest in the postwar period.

Reader Comments

sam

June 9, 2009 10:24 AM

The worst may be behind us, but that doesn't mean the economy is going to "snap back to normal." The rise in bank stocks comes mainly from a failure to recognize the true value of trillions of dollars worth of fraudulent "securities."

Joseph Weber

June 9, 2009 10:53 AM

Sam, I suspect you are right. "Normal" may be a long way off, especially for the period while the government keeps its hand in so much of the economy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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BusinessWeek’s Joe Weber, Patricia O'Connell, Michelle Conlin, Frederik Balfour, Peter Coy, Greg Spielberg and Roger Crockett examine The Case for Optimism by looking past the financial turmoil and economic unrest gripping the globe to focus on the promising future that lies on the other side of this storm. We’ll chronicle the forward thinkers investing in R&D, launching promising new products, entering new markets, or implementing management and leadership.

See why BusinessWeek Editor-In-Chief Stephen J. Adler is optimistic about the economy amid the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

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