Two economic reports are driving interest this morning. The key Empire Manufacturing report brought some surprise growth in the July report, but retail sales from June managed to go into the red again.
The New York Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index, the Empire Manufacturing report, managed to turn in gains for the month of July, coming in at 7.4 (technically 7.39) versus estimates of 5.0 from Dow Jones and 4.50 from Bloomberg. That is a gain of nearly 5 points from June, and it marks a regional uptick. Caution may prevail as the gains are small, particularly since the “new orders” component fell 5 points to -2.7. Shipments rose by 5 points to 10.3 and the employment index rose to 18.5 from 12.37. Prices paid fell yet again, with a drop of about 12 points down to 7.4, for the lowest reading in about three years.
The Commerce Department showed that retail sales fell in the month of June by 0.5%, and on an ex-autos basis, the report was still down 0.4%. Dow Jones had estimates of +0.2% on the headline, and Bloomberg also was looking for a 0.2% gain on the headline.
The markets continue to struggle to find any real direction this morning. As most European markets are lower, DJIA futures were down about 30 points and S&P 500 futures are down about 3 points before the open.
JON C. OGG