The Market Bull – April 2 2019
Uneven economic data sent the major averages into the close mixed. As the markets seem to be returning to their nothing matters routine once again.
Reis reports that Mall Vacancy rates increased sharply in the first quarter jumping .3% to 9.3% for regional malls while strip malls were unchanged at 10.2%. The national average asking rent and effective rent, which nets out landlord concessions, increased 0.4% in the quarter. Much of the jump in regional mall vacancy was attributed to Sears bankruptcy.
Advance Durable Goods Orders came in slightly better than consensus despite a 1.6% decline in February, snapping a string of 3 consecutive gains. Weakness was noted in the very volatile transportation sector following the deadly crash of a second Boeing 737 Max jet. The proxy for business spending non-defense capital goods ex-aircraft fell .1%. Once again tariffs and the threat of more and larger tariffs continue to cast a cloud over the manufacturing sector.
Mortgage activity continues to rise as rates fall further with the Mortgage Bankers Association reporting that mortgage activity jumped 8.9% last week with refi’s up 12.4% and purchase apps advancing 6.4%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan slipped to 4.35%. With the exception of the five-year adjustable rate, all other mortgage contract rates are more than .2% lower than they were a year ago.
The Institute of Supply Management Nonmanufacturing or Services Index jumped 3 points in February to a very strong 59.7 on gains in new orders and business activity. Price data continues to slip and remains fairly low. Once again tariffs and labor shortages cloud the outlook.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,867.24 up .05
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,848.69 up 19.78
Gold ended trading at: $1,295.40 up $1.20