A new index of U.S. manufacturing has fallen to its lowest level in three years. Looked at another way: the U.S. manufacturing sector is still expanding, if slowly. But there's no sugar-coating things in Europe. Their own manufacturing index is also out today and it shows the 14th straight month of contraction. And the EU's new unemployment report shows 34,000 more Europeans out of work in August, including lots of young people -- something EU officials called an "economic and social disaster."
Despite these reports, European stock markets had a strong day. Why?
"It seems a little odd on the back of the data that you just mentioned. But a lot of the market developments, movements have been driven more off of political developments than the actual data," says Julia Coronado, senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York. "So the more Europe moves away from the disastrous eurozone break-up scenario, the happier the markets are and the data are sort of secondary."
Coronado says the U.S. is different because it's more data driven.
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