Stocks Close At New High As Business Owner Optimism Surged
Published Friday, February 14, 2020 at: 7:00 AM EST
In the 46 years that the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has been tracking business owner sentiment, only 10% of the monthly readings were better than last month's 1.6 percentage point rise.
January's surge in optimism occurred even as the business owner optimism index has hovered in record territory since 2017.
Business owners employ about half the U.S. labor force and created about 70% of new jobs in the last decade, according to U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis data.
"Only a major unexpected event can disrupt the economy in the near term," NFIB said Tuesday in releasing the optimism index report. "Otherwise, there is no reason this expansion can't continue, benefiting small business owners, employees, and consumers."
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, a proxy for progress, closed Friday at a new all-time high, ending the week on Friday at 3,380.16.
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Retail sales dropped sharply in December and business-owner optimism plunged but events in the Washington, D.C. overshadowed everything. Yet share prices of America’s blue-chip stocks did not drop very much and the consensus forecast of economists released today predicts a