New business drives growth in U.S. services sector. The ISM non-manufacturing index showed that activity in February came in at a very strong 59.7 (50.0 denotes the threshold between expansion and contraction), driven largely by a spike in new orders. Overall business activity also improved, and exports were higher as well. Similarly, Markit’s gauge of the U.S. services sector reported a sharp increase in new business, and export orders rose at their strongest pace since April 2018. Overseas data painted a similar, though less robust, picture with Markit services PMI for the composite Eurozone ticking up to 52.8 in February from 52.3 in the prior month. The European data are promising, but one month does not constitute a trend, and the U.S. remains our preference for developed market equity exposure.
ADP misses, but still robust. Today’s ADP report, a precursor to Friday’s nonfarm payrolls, showed U.S. firms hired 183K workers last month, slightly below consensus estimates for 187.5K. Still, after last month’s 300K figure, a dip is not unexpected, and the U.S. labor market remains robust.
New home sales rebound. After trending lower since late-2017 amid rising interest rates, new home sales closed out 2018 on a high note, coming in at 621K vs. consensus estimates for 583K and November’s 299K. Still, the overall U.S. housing market remains somewhat of a mixed bag as existing home sales trending lower; however, recent declines in housing starts could reverse given we’ve seen a steady increase in new housing permits over the past several months.
10 weeks of green. U.S. stocks’ recent momentum has been historically impressive by many measures, and the Nasdaq Composite just notched another accomplishment. The Nasdaq has risen for the past 10 weeks, its longest winning streak in 19 years. On the LPL Research blog today, we’ll highlight the Nasdaq’s history of 10-week winning streaks, and show why there could be more gains in store for equities.
NEW Street View video. LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch discusses our views on global economic growth, led by emerging markets. Watch and share the video now.
- Initial Jobless Claims (Mar. 2)
- Nonfarm Productivity (QoQ, Q4 2018)
- Japan Leading Index (Preliminary, Jan)
- Japan Coincident Index (Preliminary, Jan)
- Eurozone Employment (Q4 2018)
- Eurozone GDP Report (Q4 2018)
- European Central Bank Rate Decision (March)
- Japan GDP Report (Q4 2018)
- Nonfarm Payrolls Report (MoM, Feb)
- Unemployment Rate (Feb)
- China CPI Report (Feb)
- China PPI Report (Feb)
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