Fenway park, Consumer confidence & Hedge fund returns

Our Two Cents – Week of 4/3/12

Fenway Park is revving for its centennial and the Boston Marathon is preparing for its annual run—two signs of April in Boston. In the currency markets, financial optimism, eurozone developments and alternative investment returns continue to show positive signs.

In the U.S., the economy is once again illustrating that it’s emerging as the main generator for global growth as markets improve, stock prices rise and personal-consumption expenditures increase. The country’s consumer confidence, which posted 70.2 in March, closed to the highest level in a year last month as a growing number of Americans said they planned to buy cars, homes and appliances.

In the eurozone, there are also hopeful indicators for an improving U.K. economy as its unemployment rate is 8.4 percent, less than the eurozone’s unemployment rate at 10.8 percent. While Greece may still face a long path for economic stability, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece’s exit in the euro would be a “catastrophic” mistake to the area’s economic and political arenas. Greece’s eurozone sisters and the International Monetary Fund approved in March the country’s 130-billion euro rescue package to aid the nation until 2014.

Finally, hedge funds upped nearly 2.4 percent as of March 28, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Hedge Fund Monitor. In the first couple months of 2012, hedge funds returned 5 percent—the best start to a calendar year since 2000, according to Hedge Fund Research.



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