Durable Goods is always one of the most volatile of all big economic numbers, and the report this morning for July is proving that to be the case. The headline durable goods reading came in at +4.9% rather than +3% expected from Dow Jones and from -1.3% as the revised June reading. On an ex-transportation basis, that figure was +0.8% for July from a revised +2.5% in June. On an ex-defense basis, that was +4.3% from a revised +0.7% in June. This actually looks to be the largest gains in almost two-years.
The seasonally adjusted figure came to $168.4 billion. Transportation surged by 18.4% and the commercial planes component was up over 100%. Motor vehicle orders were up 0.9% with a ‘cash for clunkers’ boost. And on capital goods, that overall figure was +9.5%.
Again, the durable goods reading from the Commerce Department is one of the most volatile and one of the least indicative of many numbers. But every time you get a big gain or a big drop it does have an impact and does turn heads. That is the case here even if S&P futures are still down 2 points.
JON C. OGG