The Manic - Depressive Nation of University of Michigan
The market continues to look very sloppy following the release of lots of economic data, most of which was good. The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index reported an increase in March of 97.6, the highest since 2000.
The increase in Consumer confidence in March shows that Americans are more satisfied with the current state of their finances and the economy than in any time in 16 years.
Despite this strong data, U.S. industrial production remains weak, unchanged in February due to warm weather, and up only 0.3% year over year. Factory output increased for a sixth month in February, showing a 0.5% increase at the nation’s factories and 2.7% in mining as both sectors were impacted by an oil price rebound last year.
Capacity utilization declined to 75.4% from 75.5% in January, and is below its long-term average. However, the rate for the manufacturing sector had the highest reading in six months, from 75.3% to 75.6%, and increased 0.8% over the prior year period.
The Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased another 0.6% in February (same increase in December and January). The index is at the best level in more than ten years after 6 straight monthly gains.
Oil is down again today. The latest Baker Hughes report showed an increase of 14 U.S oil rigs, the 9th consecutive week of gains. This takes the rig count to 631, up 244 from this time last year.
Have a great weekend!
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