With a report and Wednesday's strong survey, most traders think the economy is showing modest improvement and that quantitative easing will likely end in the third quarter of this year. What's interesting is that we are seeing some efforts at stock picking based on "micro" developments within industries.
Retail stocks have been that are now extending into January.
Energy stocks—oil and gas—have been hurt by low oil prices and a . Telecom, home builders and other interest rate sensitive stocks hurt by uncertainty about the direction of interest rates. Emerging markets and commodity stocks (steel, coal) have been hurt by.
European stocks are up across the board (strong four days in a row) after the World Bank forecast.
, after dropping 3.2 percent on Tuesday, closed up 2.5 percent overnight. The yen has resumed its weaker trend.
China ended down slightly. There will be an important fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report out Sunday night.