Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
Another day of minimal volatility trading sends the major averages into the final hour about even despite generally positive but questionable economic data.
Import prices increased .7% in September on another large gain in energy prices pushing the year ago change to 2.7%. Export prices advanced .7% for the month and 2.9% from a year ago. I always thought that it was interesting that the Fed regularly cites transitory forces when talking about low inflation, but fails to mention the same transitory forces that cause higher inflation. Ala the aforementioned energy price data.
Industrial Production increased notably in September to .3% on strength in high-tech and utilities production. Capacity utilization increased fractionally to 76%. That said industrial production has struggled to show material growth since May of this year and has spent most of this time contracting. In contrast to the regional Fed indexes that have more or less consistently shown considerable strength this summer.
The National Association of Home Builders or NAHB Index gained 4 points in October to 68. Particular strength was noted in the Midwest and South, apparently 2 substantial hurricanes don’t slow enthusiasm for home shopping. The Western region slipped 3 points to 76.
More quiet trade, contradictions, and another short list of items to add to the “it just doesn’t matter column”.