The major averages spent another quiet day on Thursday nearly unchanged on low volume. Is this the calm before another market pullback in what has been a zig-zag summer? That said, Friday's worse-than-expected Chinese trade data showed exports rose just 1% from the year-ago period, and imports rose 4.7%, against expectations for gains of 8% and 7%, respectively. Data on Thursday showed deflation and falling consumer prices in China. Hopes of China doing a "tractor pull" maneuver on the global economy to offset weakness in Europe and elsewhere are not being met, and in fact China is slowing. This opens up the possibility of Chinese stimulus measures in the form of monetary easing, which could be viewed positively by the markets should it occur.
Meanwhile European officials have intimated the the ECB is about to unveil a massive QE-type plan, and continued headlines like this appear to keep a bid under this market. While the tug of negative news could threaten the longest winning streak in the S&P 500 since March, the absence of negative news combined with the undercurrent of quantitative easing should push markets higher in baby steps as has been the case.
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