Stocks were already higher this Monday morning in early trading, and now we have some economic readings to support the gains. The Empire Manufacturing Index is released monthly by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the reading rose to 1.84 in June from -1.43 in May. Dow Jones was calling for the number to be only 0.0, or flat, and Bloomberg was calling for a consensus reading of 0.5 for June.
With this being a more recent reading than most of what are still May releases, investors will be hoping that perhaps this is more evidence of the start of a turn, since this is the first of the regional Fed manufacturing reports each month. The 0 level marks the breakeven, so anything above that is representative of growth.
Not all the data was positive. The new orders index fell to -6.69 in June from -1.17 in May. The shipments index also fell to -11.77 from -0.02, a weak reading not seen in about three years. The labor index fell to 0.0 from 5.68 along with a steep decline in the workweek. Even the general business expectations for six months out fell to 24.98 from 25.48.
A slight uptick was seen in prices paid at 20.97 from 20.45. The big increase was in the prices received, rising to 11.29 from 4.55. Today’s report looks positive if you read the headlines, but the underlying trends looked weak, and it may have mostly been pricing that kept things up.