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1 stocks vs. Fed balance sheet 2.4.16

The Institute of Supply Managers Non-Manufacturing or services index slipped 2.3 points to 53.5 in January. A nearly 2-year low and a 3rd consecutive decline on weakness in new orders and employment.  Prices fell into the red down 4.6 points to 46.4.  This marks a notable reduction in strength for one of the pillars of economic growth that at 3-months qualifies as a trend.

The MBA or Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity fell 2.6% last week as purchase apps fell 7%, refi’s gained .3%. The 30-year contract rate for a conforming loan slipped to 3.97%.

Light vehicle sales finished up better than the preliminary data suggested yesterday as sales advanced 1.7% on strength in domestic sales to 17.6 million units annualized.

ADP reports that private sector payrolls increased by 205,000 in January, slightly better than expectations. The official BLS or Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report is due Friday with 188,000 new jobs expected a sharp decline from the 292,000 new jobs initially reported for December.  A figure that may well see downward revision in light of the particularly weak economic data that was the hallmark of late 2015.

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