More mixed economic data leaves the markets in limbo for now. Durable goods came in at 1.9% which was better than the 0.8% analysts expected. March, however, was revised down 2.1%. Transportation showed a 5.4% increase which could be encouraging news for the real economy. We’ll see if there is any sustainability in these figures, however, before jumping to the conclusion that anything is improving. Thus far the data is more than mixed.
On the housing front there were more signs of a deceleration in price declines, but clearly no bottom. New home sales came in slightly less than expected at 352K. Supply is still at a 10.1 month level.
On the jobs front we get more mixed news. Claims came in better than expected, but continuing claims continued their hike upwards which is a clear sign that the jobless are still having substantial trouble finding new jobs. This is a clear cut long-term negative. With the country in the midst of a consumer driven de-leveraging recession jobs will remain the real crux of any recovery. At this point there are no signs of life.
Charts courtesy of Barrons Econoday
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.