Market Rationalizing So-So Data

January 29, 2010  |  

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst

The market is acting great on mostly mixed economic data. I’m not completely surprised a pattern has set in on jobs report week that sees Mondays come on strong and then the middle of the week pullback on anxiety and so-so economic data. The good news for the market is that expectations are lower for most of the data due out this week. Plus, big misses could be chalked up to the weather, so in effect market bulls can claim victory no matter what the numbers are�and imagine the data that comes in ahead of consensus.

The hottest niche of the economy, manufacturing, expanded for the seventh consecutive month. The headline ISM number missed consensus (57.5) but at 56.5 was still above the magical 50.0 expansion marker. There were negatives, including exports declining to a reading of 56.5 from 58.5, new orders slipping to 59.5 from 65.9, and production off 11.8% to 58.4. These reversals add to the double-dip recession argument. The bright spot was employment which climbed to 56.1 from 53.3. I think that the strong dollar hurt the export reading but I like that commodities are coming on, with some respondents saying metals are enjoying their best quarter in a few years.

The numbers are basing, looking for a spark.

Construction spending was down although a little better than expected. Consensus was for a decrease of 0.8% but the actual number was 0.6% decline. Residential construction actually edged higher to $269.2 billion from $266.2 billion (annually) but non-residential slipped to its lowest level since April 2007, as hotel spending dropped 9.8% month over month.

Charles Payne is the CEO and Principal Analyst of Wall Street Strategies . This post was republished from his company’s column, WStreet Market Commentary.

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