Monday, August 2, 2010

July ISM Manufacturing Weaker than June but "Better than Expected"

I am wondering if we are going to repeat the mantra of early-mid 2009 now that several Fed minions have hinted at Quantitative Easing 2.0.  That is, good news is good news and bad news means more free money i.e. good news for Wall Street.  That seems to be the attitude today as a "meh" Chinese report was bought hand over fist without any fear of what will be coming out of the U.S. ISM Manufacturing report.  If this indeed is the new attitude (or return to the old attitude) we're in for another round of Kool Aid as it no longer will matter what the economic data say since we know we're headed to a happy place where Ben Bernanke will hook up the IV to the market's arm, and inject us with more steroids. 

As for today, ISM Manufacturing weakened fom June's levels but since it beat expectations all is good in the world.
  • An industry trade group says growth in the manufacturing sector weakened in July to the slowest pace this year.  The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index slipped to 55.5 in July from 56.2 in June.  Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast a lower reading of 54.1.
Construction spending also gained based on (wait for it) government spending.
  • Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in June, boosted by gain in government programs that made up for declines in private residential and commercial projects.  Economists forecast construction spending would decline 0.5 percent. 
  • The 0.1 percent increase in outlays followed a revised 1 percent drop in May that was larger than previously estimated (shocker, a revision downward) ;)
  • Private construction spending dropped 0.6 percent following a 1.4 percent decrease in May. Homebuilding outlays fell 0.8 percent. Private non-residential projects decreased 0.5 percent, reflecting declines in construction of factories, commercial dwellings and communications stations.  (enough with the private sector... give me more government)
  • Spending on public construction increased 1.5 percent from the prior month.  (ahhhh...yes)
  • Federal building climbed 4.6 percent to $31.7 billion, the most on record. (mmmm... steroids)

The S&P 500 is at last week's highs of 1120; once those clear the next target will be 1130.   I'll probably try a quick index trade to see if we can capture those 10 points. EDIT 10:15 AM - I am buying this TNA ETF on the break over 1120.

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