March 12th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

Dow is up 8.2% this week alone – and guess who's back?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/12/art.stockmarket.jpg]

Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

Dow is up 8.2 percent. In three days. Pretty big deal. The Dow is actually positive for the month of march right now. And the Dow closed 3.46 percent higher than yesterday's close.


Look who's back! Spendy's back.

February Retail sales numbers were DOWN 0.1%, BUT if you exclude auto sales, which continue to be terrible, the number is actually UP 0.7%. This makes it the second month in a row that Americans are spending more.

Let me break this down a bit.

*Gasoline sales UP 3.4%
*Clothing/Accessories UP 2.8%
*Electronics/Appliances UP 1.2%
*Health/Personal Care UP 0.6%
*Autos DOWN 4.3%

This is now TWO months of increases. Not a trend, yet. But a little hope. Slightly. Very. Little.


Today we also got some bad news on first time claims for jobless benefits, with more than 5 Million people now continuing to claim unemployment insurance.

Filed under: Ali Velshi
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Juby

    CNN seems to have great reporters who are very knowledgable about the economy, politicians and everything else that one can think of. However, instead of acting like the headline seeking sensationalists writing for the London tabloids and only reporting the negative sensational news items, why don't you all channel your energies on people that are doing things well and people who are doing something to fight this terrible recession that we are experiencing and are having some success. I am tired of hearing doom and gloom news. Lets be more positive and encourage people to work to fix our predicament.

    March 19, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  2. Ann

    I believe most of the reason people spent more in Feb is because they got thier tax refunds. Not because the stimulus is kicking in.Most likely this will change once tax season is over.

    March 14, 2009 at 1:10 am |
  3. Don

    Is that a pendulum swinging or a wrecking ball? The SEC looks like they may be entertaining a better formula for making mark to market calculations and this it very good all be it late. Better late than never, I guess. But we should beware because reacting too late has allowed a snap back potential to build. The rubber band has stretched very tight. The economic pendulum has swung far to the right with money pulled out of the economy to balance sheets, to pockets, to mattresses, as we attempt self financial preservation.

    We can go 4 months, 6 months without those new shoes we needed, driving that old car a bit farther on those old tires that need replacing, and just do without for a bit. But then out of necessity we must buy. We have shut down our pipe line of products over the last year as inventories are reduced through lack of sales. So, lets say we change our mark to market calculation all of a sudden, then the banks balance sheets are instantly filled with tons of cash on the asset side, they start a lending frenzy with all that new cash, this starts a cash flood into the economy, we start buying out of necessity put off for a year, inflation starts to erode the dollar's value (too many dollars chasing too few goods because inventories are low), money in mattresses and pockets flush out for spending before they loose their value, on an on. The pendulum swings from the deflation side to the inflation side of the apex with great destruction. If we are not careful, we could destroy the dollars value. $800 dollar oil? It is very difficult to stop this swinging pendulum at dead center. Hang on!

    March 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Syed Hussain

    The world markets are run by bunch of crooks and sharp shooters. As you have seen in the past eight years these shooters and crooks played the oil market and duped Americans. We as Americans go by the SEC laws and regulations that are too lenient for shooters to make us losers, they play and run and make us loose everytime the market plummets and they enjoy with some of us who do not think of others as investors they treat us as markets innocent players.
    The main idea of Stock market was to assist companies raise capital as investments and offer dividend. Now these sharp shooters made the markets a wheel to make the fast money and run and we keep staring at them when they run. Watch the statistics of the market in the last 50 years and see how many blunders were made by these crooks and shooters. I think now is the time we have to regularize the market and play safe

    March 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I hope this is a sign that we are heading towards recovery – even if its a slow move. Now if we can just get some jobs to go with it.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  6. Niraj Chandra

    The media has played a very negative role during the economic crisis. When stocks are down, it is big news in all the media. However, when they are doing better, like this week, the story is buried somewhere.

    I had to search the CNN website to find your story about stock market recovery. It should have been on the very first CNN webpage. It is much more important than what Madoff is doing.

    If the media accentuates the positive, it can accelerate the recovery and help Mr Obama succeed. But there is little evidence of this happening.

    The media must take a more positive approach and get us out of this economic crisis.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  7. Mike in NYC

    More spending will reduce the savings rate, and vice versa.

    Either case is bad in its own way, unless the US starts manufacturing more things that foreigners want. That's the only long-term solution.

    March 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  8. Roland , California

    The Obama bashers with the right wing talk shows will have little to scream about. Will the dow keeping going up...probably not ...its amazing how the Republicans had no gripe when for 8 years they weire spending money like "drunken sailors'" in public bathrooms.
    They seemed to have amnesia when it come to 'their "spending' what if the economy turns around under Obama's watch, what will the Republicans do....lose more seats in the 2010...?

    March 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  9. Michael C. McHugh

    Even liberals like me sometimes help themselves. Some of these stock prices are lower than they've been since the 1930s, which is why I couldn't help buying a few thousand shares for almost nothing.

    We'll see how it pays off, but in my experience America does not let big businesses go down.

    March 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  10. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Maybe it’s because the Chinese have given hints that they may not play ball all the way through with Obama. Nonetheless, I think the real bottom is at 3000..

    March 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Joan

    It's about time. If the Republicans would stop whining and get with the program, this economy could turn around. If you've got money, now's the time for great deals everywhere. Help youself and the economy to.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  12. Maria

    Go Green

    March 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |

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