Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – March 17, 2017
The major averages opened higher but slipped late on little real news, recovering late morning to enter the final hour with small gains. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index has gained a little over 10 points or .5%, while the NASDAQ is up nearly 50 points or .8%.
Unlike the regional Fed manufacturing indexes that continue to show very strong numbers the Industrial Production report for February again fails to confirm the strength of the regional indexes when it missed expectations coming in unchanged. Capacity Utilization slipped fractionally to 75.4% while another sharp decline in utilities production dragged on the index.
Another marker that just doesn’t fit with the official narrative just like Federal Reserve Chairwomen Janet Yellen’s recent statement “quite simply the economy is strong” following the Fed’s recent decision to raise interest rates as economic growth estimates for the quarter got slashed from about 3% to near 1% in the weeks leading up to the FOMC or Federal Open Market Committee meeting. With the hard economic data continuing to show an economy that is at best muddling along despite trillions in stimulus and deficit spending combined with emergency level interest rates, and the soft confidence data showing that things are supposedly booming for both consumers and businesses ultimately one of the groups will be proven very, very wrong. Given the record or near record levels of debt, painfully high asset valuations, and the Trump administration increasingly pressured to deliver something other than hope with respect to its campaign promises, I’ll put my faith on the hard data.
Industrial production misses, fails to confirm regional indexes. Hard data and soft confidence indexes at odds, who will get proven wrong?