Intraday Market Update
US equities got a boost in the pre-market after better than expected readings on personal income and spending and positive manufacturing data out of China. The S&P 500 gapped higher (+8 points) at the open, but the enthusiasm was short lived after consumer sentiment slightly beat expectations and key components of the ISM manufacturing index were weak. All of the major indexes have recovered off of their lows and are drifting higher as traders digest the best September for the stock market in over 70 years. Gold's parabolic move higher continues as the commodity printed another new high of $1,322 per ounce. Front month crude is above $80 per barrel (+1% on the day) and is nearing two month highs. Overseas, the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly higher but the Shanghai Index is closed for a week long holiday. Most European markets sold off late to post modest losses.
Jog growth remains slow but wages and salaries are growing, albeit at a modest pace. Personal income in August advanced a +0.5% compared to estimates calling for a +0.3% rise. This month's gain follows a +0.2% rise the month prior. Unfortunately, a notable part of the latest increase came from a surge in government unemployment benefits as growth in wages and salaries rose +0.3% after increasing +0.4% the month prior. Private industry wages and salaries rose a healthy +0.5% which matches gains seen the month prior.
Consumer sentiment has perked up during the last two weeks of the month. The index rose to 68.2 compared to the mid month reading of 66.6, which means the implied reading for the last half of the month was 69.8. Improvement was seen in the in the leading expectations component while inflation expectations decreased. Today's sentiment number is a marked improvement compared to the past several weeks.
Although the ISM Manufacturing Index met expectations, the strength was centered in a spike in inventories. The New Orders, Production, and Employment sub-indices were all lower, but still remained above 50 which signals expansion. However, new orders decelerating, inventories building, and hiring slowing isn't good medicine for a recovering economy.
In equities, Hewlett-Packard shareholders are angry after the company announced that former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker will takeover as the new CEO. HPQ is down nearly -4%. Accenture (ACN) is up +4% and has traded to fresh all-time highs after the company beat earnings and raised their dividend. Company executives said that the demand for its services is building more momentum than they had hoped for at this point in the recovery.
Core Sector List:
Overall reading: 15 sectors advancing, 5 sectors declining
Strongest Sectors: Coal Miners, Oil, Banks, Broker Dealers
Weakest Sectors: Semiconductors, Retail, Transportation
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