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That's right. According to Biderman, the money did not come from (a) companies ("which were a huge net seller") (b) retail investor funds, (c) retail investors, (d) foreign investors, or (e) pension funds.
What about the hedge funds?
Biderman: "We have no way to track in real time what hedge funds do, and they may well have shifted some assets into U.S. equities. But we doubt their buying power was enormous because they posted an outflow of $12 billion from April through November."
The markets are going up as the dollar goes down, as is the case for all commodities – stocks, oil, metals, etc. – denominated in American dollars. The price increases in relation to the changes on currency exchange markets.
Once again, the system of floating currency exchange would, in other circumstances be a good indication for the U.S. Right now however it isn’t. As the value of the American dollar decreases in concert with increases in dollar denominated commodities we should see a move toward increasing American exports. A cheap dollar makes a manufactured good in the U.S. cheaper than in say, Germany, so it boosts our production and increased economic vitality.
Unfortunately, in our current world system it doesn’t matter what the dollar does. China has its currency pegged lower than our own, so when our currency falls it pushes the yuan-renmimbi down with it.
Essentially, because one nation is gaming the system America cannot reap any of the benefits.
General Motors saw sales fall by 30% in 2009, while Chrysler reported its worst annual sales for 47 years.
Sales at Ford, which avoided bankruptcy last year, fell 15%, though it saw its first gain in market share since 1995.
Total US car sale in 2009 were at their lowest levels for nearly 30 years, according to figures from the research company Autodata.
The year 2009 was a calamitous one for the US car industry, with both GM and Chrysler forced into bankruptcy.
But sales saw a boost from the government's "cash for clunkers" scheme, which offered subsidies for the purchase of new cars.
Analysts are optimistic at the prospects for the car market in the new year. The Center for Automotive Research in Michigan is predicting a 19% rise in new car sales...
It was the ninth straight month that job losses narrowed from the previous month. The number of cuts in November was revised down to 145,000 from the previously reported 169,000.
private-sector employers cut 84,000 jobs in December, the fewest since March 2008.
The figure was offset by a loss of 96,000 in the goods-producing sector and a drop of 43,000 manufacturing jobs.
Despite the recent decline, 2009 was still the heaviest downsizing year since 2002, with employers announcing 1,288,030 planned job cuts for the year, according to Challenger.
Analysts are optimistic at the prospects for the car market in the new year.
The Center for Automotive Research in Michigan is predicting a 19% rise in new car sales, citing improved credit availability and increased demand.
According to CNNMoney.com, stocks in the United States may be largely driven by how investors react to unemployment claims published by the Labor Department Thursday morning. According to the Labor Department, there were 434,000 initial jobless claims for the week ending January 2, up from 433,000 the week before.
This is less than many forecasters had predicted, but still a telling sign that the unemployment problem isn’t going away.
In other news, with unemployment on the rise and less income to go around, our already battered state budgets took yet another hit.
Bloomberg reports that state tax collections are down 13.3 percent, or $80 billion, through the first three quarters of 2009. State and local governments are already dealing with $193 billion of combined budget deficits, and they must now attempt to solve their fiscal problems with $80 billion less in the tank.
The US trade deficit widened sharply in November as the recovering economy boosted demand for imports to their highest level in almost a year.
The deficit grew to $36.4bn (£22.6bn), up 9.7% from an upwardly revised figure of $33.2bn in October. The increase was more than analysts had expected...
...Economists were encouraged by the fact that both imports and exports increased.
"The big news is continued and sustained growth in trade volume, signalling recovery both in the US and among major US trading partners," said Christopher Cornell, at Moody's Economy.com.