Sonders: U.S. Economy Turning, Healthier Market Should Follow

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders says the U.S. economy appears to have hit some inflection points, which means good things for stocks.

“I believe it’s important to look for inflection points, not to wait until the ‘all’s clear’ bell is rung,” Sonders writes in her latest commentary on Schwab’s website. “By definition, inflection points (when moving from weakness to strength) occur at moments of maximum weakness in the data. It’s at that point that I’m generally most intrigued … not after the recovery is in full swing.”

Right now, Sonders says U.S. indicators have been hitting some inflection points, though the global economy has not. Among the good signs: improvements in employment, housing, and both the manufacturing and service sectors. “It appears as if the United States is at least stabilizing, if not pulling out of its latest slump,” she says. “There are even a few signs of improvements within the eurozone and China: eurozone industrial production has increased nearly 3% over the past four months (even in Greece), and China’s M2 money supply and exports both recently moved well above expectations. By no means does that mean we think US or global growth will be robust — only that the worst may be behind us for now.”

Sonders says she is still concerned about the “fiscal cliff”, and that the resurgent housing sector won’t be enough to keep the economy from falling into recession if we go off the cliff. But, she says, with expectations so low for our politicians, an agreement that avoids the cliff could trigger a nice bounce for stocks, she says.