The Daily Difference: Market Update March 10, 2014

Although there is a lot going on this week, the information flow will be light until the end of the week: Thursday > March 13, 2014

  • Retail Sales:  The past few months have been weak, although many have blamed it on the weather. Autos have been the weakest component (who wants to test drive a car in an ice storm?), so many are speculating there is pent up demand in this component and it will likely bounce back.  Declines were also seen in other sectors such as furniture, clothing, and food / beverage services. Although the pent up demand argument can be easily be applied to autos, it will have less of an effect on other components (it is unlikely those who went out for a few less meals in January will make up for it in March).
  • Jobless Claims: We’re all hoping last week’s impressive number is the start of a trend and that the January / February numbers were an anomaly caused by weather.
  • Business Inventories: This number is typically not significant, but it will be closely watched this quarter after inventory buildup caused a spike in Q3 GDP growth and inventories strongly outpaced sales. The hope is that inventories are declining, indicating the growth is sustainable and inventories will have to be replaced.

Friday > March 14, 2014

  • Consumer Sentiment:  As household net worth continues to increase, so should the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The expectations component has been increasing the last few months, which will hopefully prove to be a leading indicator.
BlogJames O'Brien