The price of oil is climbing on reports that U.S. factories have cranked into a higher gear. Benchmark U.S. crude increased Monday by $1.07 to $104.09 per barrel in New York while Brent crude rose by 68 cents to $123.56 per barrel in London.
U.S. factories boosted output last month and December ended up being their best month of growth in five years. Strong auto sales and growing business investment in machinery and other equipment are keeping factories busy and helping the economy grow.
Beware of the constant metaphors used to frame the world economy as if it were a war or zero-sum competition. Investors should remember that economies cooperate as much as they compete when it comes to how things work on the world stage. The current U.S. manufacturing boom is a case study.
One would think that with the Mideast crisis East, oil prices skyrocketing and U.S. manufacturing rebounding smartly, the buck would be flying high. But no. Why that's so may lie in international perceptions about where interest rates are heading.