The Market Bull – March 13, 2019
The major averages opened higher on generally positive data closing with modest gains. The Brexit vote has failed leading to considerable uncertainty, with calls for remain growing louder and others asking for more negotiating time.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its mortgage activity index advanced 2.3% last week as refi’s fell .2% and purchase apps jumped 4.3%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased fractionally to 4.45%.
The February Producer Price Index advanced a slightly less than expected .1%, snapping a string of 3 consecutive declines for the series. On a year ago basis the rate fell to just 1.8% on a large drop in energy prices. Excluding energy, it’s a little surprising that the tariffs haven’t had a more noticeable impact on producer prices, but then that was a one off event anyway.
Durable goods orders handily beat expectations in January with a .4% advance. A volatile series 1-month means little. That said orders have been essentially flat now for 10-months. The proxy for business spending non-defense capital goods ex-aircraft posted a solid gain for a second month up 2.5%.
Construction spending handily beat expectations in January with a 1.3% increase, its best showing in 9-months on a huge 4.9% jump in public construction. Residential construction fell for a 6th straight month.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,810.92 up 19.40
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,643.41 up 52.37
Gold ended trading at: $1,309.50 up $11.40