Economy, stock market back on track

After April's rough patch, retailers have regained their footing, utilities are hopping and we are finally getting credit for Friday's terrific jobs number.

By Jim Cramer May 11, 2011 11:41AM
thestreetjim cramerDid the rough patch end? Did world growth begin to re-accelerate? We all know that the U.S. economy, and maybe the world's, hit a rough patch in April, perhaps in reaction to the suddenly high price of oil or because economic tightening policies are beginning to take effect -- although there are mixed emotions about China's inflation level this morning.


But the reports I am getting now about May do not indicate that things are slowing any further. And some of my auto, retail and industrial contacts say things are pretty darned good again. I know that it shouldn't fluctuate like this, but it does seem like the world's still humming.


Two of the best gauges I have -- the S&P Retail Index and the utilities -- are flashing out-and-out green after worrying me for a bit. The utilities, ones like Exelon (EXC) and FirstEnergy (FE), took huge hits not that long ago, when it looked like things were turning down again. Now they are hopping.


The retail index? I have to tell you that even laggards like Kohl's (KSS) and Target (TGT) seem to be getting their footing, and as we saw Tuesday, Fossil (FOSL), the ultimate discretionary stock, has gotten very hot again.

In fact, the only worrisome indicator I see right now is copper. That seems to reflect that the Chinese are not done tightening. At least, however, it isn't falling off a cliff. It just seems to be drifting.


I know that many people are keying on housing as an answer to the strength or weakness, and we have had mixed news there. Mixed because the lower price of homes is being brought down by the sale of foreclosures at a much faster pace. But I think that housing is having a hard time at this point really hurting this economy.

So I reiterate that the jobs number we saw Friday mattered, that it was real, and that the economy's back on track.


And so is the stock market.


At the time of publication, Cramer was long Kohl's.


Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO.


Learn how to follow Cramer’s trades for his Charitable Trust.


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