What Wall Street Is Really Telling Us

Reading corporate earnings reports on the newswires can be an interesting practice, since they’ll often give you insight into consumer trends. I haven’t been writing about my observations from the reports for a while, since the news was fairly obvious. Consumers haven’t been spending a lot of money, nor have businesses. You don’t need me to tell you that.

This week, however, I’ve seen some encouraging facts for the economy, which, in turn, is good news for you. United Parcel Service (UPS) is up and that’s a good sign—businesses and consumers are shipping goods, indicating a strong economy. What they’re shipping, we don’t know, but they’re shipping.

Xerox’s earnings beat expectations—indicative of top global corporations spending money on, well, Xeroxing, I suppose, and perhaps purchasing copying machines. That’s also good.

3M also beat expectations. Now that’s a diversified manufacturing company, but do you know what one of their top products is? Post-It Notes! Surely, if the demand for Post-It Notes is high we’re all feeling confident about the future, at least in little ways, by writing to-do notes for our spouses and putting little reminder messages to ourselves all around our computer screens. Of course, 3M also makes products that go into the manufacturing of flat-screen TVs and I’m sure that helped, too.

In other business reports, Virgin America said it would buy 40 new Airbus A320s worth $3.2 billion, to double its fleet. Smith Travel Research reported that luxury hotel rates are up 4.7 percent.

That’s good news for you, as well. Airlines have to keep improving their product, and hotels and other suppliers must get their pricing back so that everyone can start making money again. We’re definitely on an upswing. It’s taking longer than we thought, but we’re getting there.

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