The good news this morning wasn’t enough to outweigh the bad. Despite improving factory orders and demand for home loans, exchange traded funds (ETFs) couldn’t surmount a jobs report that left people wanting more.
Two big thorns in the economy’s side are consumer spending, or a lack thereof, and joblessness. The joblessness thorn didn’t get a reprieve this week. Although analysts expected employers to add 40,000 jobs this month, employers actually cut 23,000. This report is what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars – a harbinger of what’s to come tomorrow when the Labor Department releases their monthly employment figures. Economists still expect that report to show that nearly 200,000 jobs were created. [10 ETFs Investors Are Trading.]
In better news, factory orders jumped by 0.6% in February, rising for the 10th time in 11 months. The increase was led by strong demand for industrial machinery and commercial aircraft. Manufacturers are benefiting primarily from improved demand overseas, as well as greater business spending on capital equipment. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Industrial (NYSEArca: IYJ) is down a hair this morning.
Home loan demand is up for the first time in three weeks and is now perched at the highest level since October. Demand for these loans, which rose 1.3% this week, is a good sign for this spring, which is considered prime real estate season. SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB) is down 0.6% so far today. [Comparing the Homebuilder ETFs.]
Toyota’s (NYSE: TM) troubles haven’t seemed to dent demand for the automaker’s cars, although a rash of incentives didn’t hurt. The embattled car maker’s sales rose 40% this month from a year earlier, thanks to some serious discounting. The discounts were originally to end April 5, but Toyota plans to continue them through the spring. iShares MSCI Japan (NYSEArca: EWJ) is down 1% this morning; Toyota is 5% of the fund. [Hot ETF Trend: International Small-Caps.]
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.