NEW YORK (Real Money) -- It sure is tiresome when the algorithms force a nonsensical market upon us. I am a huge believer that the economy has slowed again -- it's been stop-start repeatedly -- and that the hiring numbers, after hitting their stride not that long ago, now seem bogged down by some force or forces -- European weakness, Affordable Care Act? -- that nobody's been able to pin down beyond anecdotal musings.
But one thing's for certain: The bulls love higher oil prices. They don't care how they occur -- lower dollar, embargo, turmoil -- but somehow, more expensive crude is viewed as positive for all stocks.
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There's only one sticking point: When I look at the canvas of what's going on right now in the U.S., I see consumer spending that's being saved by, yep, lower oil and gas prices. Think about it: Housing numbers are awful. I thought we were going to see more nonresidential construction by now, but somehow that seems to have cooled. Many have written off the aerospace cycle, a huge employer.
Government spending remains tightfisted. Big companies are still doing more with less, and other than a couple of outliers such as Alliance Data (ADS) , Kroger (KR) and United Parcel (UPS) , we are not hearing about big hiring sprees. I am not even sure that auto sales are all that strong, although I saw General Motors (GM) boosting its truck production. Could that be, though, just a pick-up from the lack of pick-ups from Ford (F) ?