Global markets and the U.S. -- attached at the hip?

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the opening bell on August 5, 2011 in New York City.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: With stock markets around the world in mixed territory today, analysts here in the U.S. are somewhat hopeful for the coming day on Wall Street. Morning after morning we tell you how overseas markets are doing and what all that might mean for the day ahead in the U.S. But in times like these, who's really leading the way?

Here's Marketplace's Jeff Horwich.


JEFF HORWICH: Being Americans, it's tempting to think of the relationship between our stock market and its global counterparts like a dog wagging its tail. In truth it's more like a dog chasing its tail: we watch them, they watch us, round and round we all go. Overnight futures markets help us all read each other in real-time. Still, conventional wisdom holds that the U.S., by dint of sheer size, tends to lead the way.

ROB CARNELL: People talk about the ascendancy of Asia and so forth, but in in terms of markets I think the U.S. still dominates.

Rob Carnell is chief international economist at ING. He says there are times when European markets set the tone. And this morning -- with hopeful news about debt crises in Italy and France -- is one of them.

CARNELL: Really the big story at the moment is Europe -- and if Europe is moving forward right now -- and it is right now, there's a lot of green on the screen -- that should be reflected in U.S. markets later today.

Carnell says all global markets tend to move together over time. But on any given day, the dog can quit chasing its tail and start chasing the latest shiny object thrown out by the news cycle.

I'm Jeff Horwich for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...