Rover's Weekly Market Brief — 4/20/2018


DJIA: 24,462.90 (+0.42%)

NASDAQ: 7,146.00 (+0.55%)

S&P 500: 2,670.00 (+0.52%)


Gold: 1,338.00 (-0.73%)

Copper: 313.20 (+1.99%)

Crude Oil: 68.26 (+1.29%)


A +2.0% increase in motor vehicle sales in March reversed sales drops of -1.3% and -1.6% in the previous two months and helped push overall retail sales to a +0.6% gain for the month. Sales excluding motor vehicles were up +0.2%, and sales excluding both motor vehicles and gas, which was down -0.3% (+0.7% Y/Y), brought the monthly gain to +0.3%. Sales increased at health and personal care stores (+1.4%, +0.8% Y/Y), nonstore (i.e. online) retailers (+0.8%, +9.7% Y/Y), and furniture stores (+0.7%, +3.9% Y/Y), but fell for sporting goods stores (-1.8%, -3.3% Y/Y), clothing stores (-0.8%, +1.8% Y/Y), and building and garden supplies stores (-0.6%, +5.3% Y/Y).

Industrial production rose +0.5% in March after an upwardly revised +1.0% gain in February, and rose +4.3% yearly. Gains in oil and gas extraction and mining support activities helped boost mining by +1.0% for its sixth consecutive quarterly gain, and a +10.8% Y/Y increase, although mining production is still 4% below its 2014 peak rate. Manufacturing ticked up +0.1% for the month, and 3.0% for the year, with gains for motor vehicles (+2.7%, 8.2% Y/Y), electronics (+1.0%, +5.2% Y/Y), and petroleum products (+1.8%, +1.0% Y/Y), and drops for appliances (-1.9%, +1.6% Y/Y), foods (-1.3%, +3.6% Y/Y), printing (-1.0%, -2.0% Y/Y), and plastic and rubber products (-0.7%, +2.2% Y/Y). Capacity utilization for manufacturing was down -0.1% to 75.9% (2.4% below its long term average), with durable manufacturing at 75.9% utilization (-1.0% below long term average), and nondurable manufacturing at 77.0% (10.1% below long term average). Mining capacity utilization was up +0.5% to +90.1%, which is 4.1% above its long term average.

New privately-owned housing construction rose +1.9% (+10.9% Y/Y) in March, with a +57,000 gain in the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for multiple unit construction more than offsetting a -33,000 SAAR drop for single family homes. The Midwest region had the bulk of new construction gains at +22.4% (+29.5% Y/Y), with a +0.8% (+13.8% Y/Y) gain for the Northeast, and losses in the South (-0.6%, -1.9% Y/Y) and the West (-1.5%, + 28.2% Y/Y). The SAAR for home completions fell in March to 1,217,000 (-5.1%, +1.9% Y/Y) due to drops in the South (-10.0%, -6.8% Y/Y), and the West (-3.3%, +22.2% Y/Y), which were offset by gains in the Northeast (+7.4%, +31.5% Y/Y), and the Midwest (+0.6%, -14.9% Y/Y).

Upcoming Economic Reports:

Thursday April 26 – Durable Goods Orders

Friday April 27 – 2018 Q1 GDP, First Estimate

Earnings Calendar:


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Exxon Mobil
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