Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages enter the final hour with modest gains on generally positive but not overly significant data. ADP reported a well above consensus 250,000 new private sector jobs in December. The official Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS report comes out tomorrow with 190,000 new jobs expected.
Reis reports that Mall Vacancy Rates were unchanged in the 4th quarter at 8.3%. Office Vacancies were also unchanged at 16.3%. Interestingly neither of these series is much below their post bust highs having dropped about 1% since.
Wards reports that light vehicle sales increased 2.2% in December to 17.79 million units annualized, as the year finished in the top 5 for total sales. That said sales fell 1.8% in 2017 to record the first sales decline since 2010. Almost all brands saw sales declines with the exception of Mitsubishi and Subaru. Tesla sales fell 23%, the largest annual decline, as the company struggles to meet its modest production goals.
Intel also released a significant Mea Culpa after revelations regarding severe security flaws related to almost all of its processors came to light. While Intel isn’t alone here as processors from AMD and Atom are also affected, but to a lesser degree. Dubbed Meltdown and Specter these security flaws are figured to be some of the most severe ever discovered allowing attackers to gain access to a computers’ most closely held secrets without the operator being aware of it.