A HOT MONTH, JULY… The trading month on Wall Street ended Friday with the markets really heated up for July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was UP 7.1% for the month, while the broadly based S&P 500 finished UP 6.9%. This was the first positive month for U.S. stocks since April. May and June had investors worrying over China’s attempts to slow its growth and a European debt crisis which still hasn’t had much impact in the U.S.

The week had a few negatives to please the bears. For example, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index went to 50.4 in July, its second monthly decline. Yes, consumers are concerned about jobs and the pace of recovery, but the fact is, the economy is growing and businesses are making profits, which they will ultimately invest in more jobs. Gloomy types also jumped on the 1.0% drop in Durable Goods for June, yet “core” capital goods (take out defense and volatile aircraft shipments) were UP 0.2% — their ninth gain in the past ten months!

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