April 3, 2017
Most anecdotal data, whether from the consumer or from factory officials, continue to be unusually and surprisingly strong. The ISM index, though slowing slightly to 57.2, beat Econoday's consensus for a 7th straight month. Orders, both domestic and foreign, are very solid and are filling up backlog orders among ISM's sample. But the sample from rival report Markit Economics tells a different story, one of lost momentum because in part of weakness in export sales.
The day's hard economic data are likewise mixed with construction spending showing strength in housing but weakness in government spending while vehicle sales in March proved to be the worst in 2 years, a factor that belies the strength in consumer confidence and will weigh on first-quarter GDP.
Stocks were on the defensive with the Dow posting a fractional loss to 20,650. But money moved into the safety of bonds where the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell a sizable 6 basis points to 2.34 percent.