Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
Despite generally positive data another volatile day on the street sent the major averages into the final hour about even. Auto sales came out late yesterday and missed expectations significantly falling 1 million units to 16.6 million units annualized matching the low of a year ago. Total sales for the quarter averaged an anemic 17.3 million units annualized 4.4% less than the 18.1 million units’ average from a year ago. Declines were broad based with all the major manufacturers reporting less sales except Nissan.
February’s trade deficit fell to 43.6 billion as exports increased .4 billion and imports slipped 4.3 billion. Petroleum imports improved fractionally.
Factory orders advanced a decent 1% in February, a 3rd consecutive gain on strength in volatile transportation orders. Core capital goods ex aircraft the proxy for business spending slipped .1% for the month a 3rd consecutive decline as again national level manufacturing data while decent isn’t confirming the significant strength seen in the Regional Fed Indexes.