There was a lot of macro news, mainly from the US. The news was better than expected, in Europe/UK even more than in the US.
In the first week of the months you get the surveys about how well manufacturing and the service sector are doing in a lot of countries.
The ISM manufacturing, the barometer for US industrial production) improved 1 point to 54.1 with new orders very strong. In Europe and the Emerging Markets the barometers for business (PMI's) were also strong. India had for the second month in a row the best rise and there the PIM is above 57 (no wonder Indian equities are a top performer this year).
The ISM non manufacturing was in the US almost 57 and this was a major pleasant surprise and bodes well for employment growth in the service sector.
That employment growth was with 243,000 about 100,000 more than the consensus thought. A big part of that surprise is caused by the unusually warm weather in January, but still, the numbers were quite good, almost everywhere in the economy and the unemployment rate declined further (only point of attention: the participation rate did not go up).
The house prices declined in the US, a disappointment (but this was November, old news). The car sales were very strong, even while consumption expenditures did not grow in January and while personal income rose with 0.5% (not annualised).
The fear for the euro crisis is still diminishing, visible in lower bond yields in Italy and Spain. The Greek are still making objections against the actions that are needed with the depreciation of their debts (Germany is not allowed to control tax income in Greece, they have to throw a lot more money for the good purpose, so the austerity in Greece can be less) but the markets don’t seem to mind this, they dream about how many bubbles a trillion euro of 3 years deposits (LTRO) of the ECB at February 29 can be made on the European stock markets.
There is some political unrest in Russia and Iran, but even that was not disturbing the party.
The long dated bond yields ought to rise wit hall that good macro news, but that was disappointingly little the case.
Bernanke held its Humphrey Hawkins Testimony, but this produced no news (quite unusual, the FED seems to have communicated everything that could be communicated, there was only some dismay about the FED doing politics with their suggestions to help the housing market).