Factory Orders Stay in the Red

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Factory orders were down 1.0% in the month of September, more or less in line with the Bloomberg consensus of -0.9% and matching the -1.0% expected from Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal). Tuesday’s report is now a month old, so it’s proximity to the consensus estimates should negate most or all the negativity that the headline reading might indicate.

Another issue is that the August reading for factory orders was revised lower to -2.1% from an initial report of -1.7%.

There were some discrepancies from sector to sector. Factory orders excluding transportation were down by 0.6%. Factory orders excluding defense spending were down by 1.4%.

One continued drag is that exports continue to harm factory orders. Those factory orders are more sensitive to currencies and international issues than some of the service orders. All of this is keeping the manufacturing segment in negative territory. Another factor is that the energy equipment exports, due to oil prices rather than due to currencies, have slowed handily.

Tuesday’s reading on factory orders came when the S&P 500 was slightly in the red and the Dow was slightly positive. This may just get swept under the rug.

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