NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. equity markets have continued to trend higher as improved economic data have justified tighter monetary policy.
Some believed that when the Federal Reserve began to reduce its bond-buying program, stocks' rally would end. That hasn't been the case as strong economic numbers have kept investor sentiment elevated since the Fed's policy decision.
Last week it was announced that U.S. orders for durable goods rose 3.5% in November, the fastest pace in 10 months. That shows that businesses are still willing to spend, even as interest rates rise. If companies are willing to invest capital for growth, they believe they will reap real returns.
Higher business spending is also a positive sign for manufacturing. The increased projected output will create more demand for industrial metals, which is reflected in the prices of copper and aluminum. Both have been on a gradual trend higher over the past few months.New home sales also boosted markets. New home sales provide a gauge of strength for the traditional home buyer, as opposed to existing home sales, which are often clouded by properties purchased as investments.
At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @macroinsights This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV