The Market Bull – February 14, 2019
The major averages finished the day about even despite some fairly significant disappointing economic data. Rumors continue to swirl on averting another government shutdown and a resolution to the trade war with China before the tariffs jump to 25%, but I’ll believe it when I actually see it.
Retail sales cratered in December falling 1.2%, the largest monthly drop in 10-years, blowing expectations out of the water that called for a small decline of just .1%.
Declines were very broad based as just building materials, motor vehicles and parts were the only sectors to show any sales growth for the month. On a year ago basis sales advanced an anemic 2.3%. One month does not make a trend but as retail sales, aka consumer spending, make up about 70% of total economic activity it most certainly is cause for concern.
The January Producer Price Index or PPI slipped .1% for the month, pushing the year ago rate down to just 2%. On large declines in energy costs.
European industrial production went sharply negative as 2018 came to a close suggesting that if a recession isn’t already a reality, it will most likely become one very soon.
Real hourly earnings increased .2% in December and 1.6% for the year.
A rather tepid rate of increase especially when one considers how robust the jobs market is based on the official 4% unemployment rate.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,745.73 down 7.30
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,426.95 up 6.58
Gold ended trading at: $1,315.40 up $.30
The Fed pauses on interest rates and looks to halt its Quantitative Tightening process as well. Has it realized that it has painted itself into a corner?read more
Markets finish the day mixed. Trumps tax cut is so far another debt laden bust. Case/Schiller reports higher home prices, but momentum slows again.read more
Markets slip to begin the week on earnings misses. Chicago Fed gains in January. Dallas Fed back in the black to finish the year.read more
Kansas City Fed gains in January. Initial claims for unemployment hit a 50-year low of 199,000. Chemical activity barometer falls .3% in January.read more
Another volatile day as the country flounders with its political fiasco while the economy circles the drain. Mortgage activity slips. Richmond Fed negative again.read more
Existing home sales miss big in December. Trumps tax cuts cost way more than estimated. Major averages fall hard to begin the week.read more
The major averages close another strong week, S&P 500 Index +3.53%, NASDAQ +3.26%. Industrial production gains .3%. Consumer sentiment slips.read more
Stocks shoot higher late on rumors of a trade war cease fire. Philadelphia Fed gains in January. European auto sales tumble late, finish 2018 about even.read more
Stocks finish with modest gains. Mortgage activity jumps again. Beige Book more modest growth, some risks. Trade prices slip for a second month.read more
Markets close with large gains despite generally disappointing data. The Brexit vote fails badly. Chinese auto sales fall again. December PPI just 2.4%.read more