ASX Breaks January Record

What a month January was for shares! The S&P 500 was up 5.5% in the first four weeks of the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2%.

Tech stocks had their best performance in decades with the Nasdaq Composite up 9.2% on the month, its best January performance since it notched a 12.2% gain in 2001. The All Ordinaries were also up just under 8% for the month.

This all featured in a really interesting interview with Evan Lucas, Chief Investment Strategist at InvestSMART on last night's Money News – check it out for a good wrap-up. I am back in the Money News host chair from 7pm each night Monday to Thursday right across the Nine Radio network, so tune in or grab the podcast whenever suits you!

On a different note, it seems almost every day we are confronted with yet another economic variable that affects our personal and businesses finances – yesterday it was the December retail figures muddling the picture.
After big inflation numbers last week when the picture was looking bleak, you could be forgiven for being surprised by yesterday's retail numbers. It was a surprise to many to see the first sign of a crack in spending, with a 3.9% drop in retail sales through December.

What does it mean for you? Most likely it means the RBA will be less aggressive on interest rate increases over the next few months, but I expect 0.25% lifts in February and March regardless.