Markets are firmly in the red today.  There are many potential reasons including doubts about QE2, Ireland, etc.  However over the past few months the stock market has been on a tear.  While it is difficult, maybe tuning out the din of the financial media can help us come up with some explanation for this.  Maybe it is as simple as ‘the economy is getting better.’  Although the economy has a great deal to do to recover, especially on the jobs front, the stock market may simply be reacting to a increasingly positive news front.  A closer look at the retail sales data is another sign that the economy (and hiring) is on an upward path.  In today’s screencast we take another crack at the optimist’s case for the economy.

Items mentioned in the above screencast:

“I’ll just say this, in talking about markets, Occam’s Razor goes a long way.”  (Joe Weisenthal)

“The principle of Occam’s Razor recommends selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions (aka postulates, entities).”  (Wikipedia)

Fundamentals drive the market, but make for lousy TV.  (ValuePlays)

14 reasons things are better than you think.  (Crossing Wall Street)

The V-shaped recovery in manufacturing.  (Money Game)

Seasonal hiring off to a fast start.  (Calculated Risk)

Daily chart of the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT).  (Finviz)