The Market Bull – December 17, 2019
Positive economic and tax data helped the major averages close with small gains. Boeing halts 737 production and college admissions slip for an 8th year.
Housing starts advanced 3.2% in November to 1.365 million units, beating expectations. Permits gained 1.4% to 1.482 million units. Both marked a second consecutive increase as the trend for starts continues to improve as it has done since the beginning of the year. Starts on a year ago basis have posted a respectable gain of 13.6%. On a regional basis the West was particularly strong posting an 1.4% advance for the month and a 22.7% gain from November 2018. More evidence indicating that the recent softness in the economic data was simply a small hiccup and nothing serious.
Industrial Production also beat expectations today with a respectable 1.1% advance in November after a period of weakness as well. Auto production was particularly robust posting a 12.4% gain following the resolution of the autoworkers strike at GM. Utilities production increased 2.9% for the month helping to drive the top line gain as mining slipped a little. Total capacity utilization rose 0.7% to 77.3%. This report snaps a string of weak data points going back a number of months.
State and local tax revenues jumped 6.3% in the 3rd quarter from a year ago extending a string of solid results to a 3rd consecutive quarter. California provided a generous assist to the solid top line number. Sales, income and corporate tax receipts all jumped; severance taxes slipped but were very strong in the previous 6-quarters. Another good report indicating that the recent economic data softness is a minor passing issue.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,192.52 up 1.07
NASDAQ finished the day: 8,823.36 up 9.13
Gold ended trading at: $1,479.80 down $.70