This US economy is on fire. A stunning revision to Q3 GDP helped propel the US stock markets to record highs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,024.1, +64.7, (+0.3%)
- S&P 500: 2,082.1, +3.6, (+0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,765.4, -16.0, (-0.3%)
And now, the top stories on Friday:
1. GDP! Q3 GDP growth was just revised up to 5.0%, from last month’s estimate of 3.9%. This is the fastest pace of growth since Q3 2003. This was also much stronger than the 4.3% expected by economists. Personal consumption growth was revised up significantly to 3.2% from 2.2%.
2. Adjusted GDP! GDP sceptics often point to fluctuations in inventories and trade as factors distorting the truth. BMO Capital’s Jennifer Lee notes that all of the popular adjusted GDP metrics still hit multiyear highs. “Real gross domestic purchases (or GDP ex net exports) grew 4.1% annualized (was estimated at 3.0%), the second quarter in a row of 4%-plus gains. Final domestic demand (or GDP ex inventories and net exports) grew 4.1% annualized (was estimated at 3.2%), a four-year high. Final sales (or GDP ex inventories) grew 5.0% annualized (was estimated at 4.1%), an eight-year high.”
3. Stocks! The Dow and S&P 500 set new intraday highs today. The Dow got as high as 18,069.22 and the S&P 500 got as high as 2,086.73. Here are some fun stats from Intercontinental Exchange managing director Charlie Brown: “I am told that it has been 172 days since the Dow closed above 17,000. This would make it the 5th fastest trip between thousands on the Dow, with the record being 35 days in 1999 when it rocketed from 10,000 to 11,000. To put this in context it was 5,200 days for the Dow to rise from 1,000 to 2,000 in 1972.”
4. Durable Goods Miss. There was a lot of economic data today, and not all of it was good. Durable goods orders fell 0.7% in November, which was worse than the 3.0% increase expected by economists. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, or core capex, grew 0.0%; economists were looking for 1.0%. “Durable goods orders from the Census Bureau are subject to frequent revision; however, at currently reported levels, we view the data as consistent with a slower pace of investment spending and manufacturing activity,” Barclays’ Jesse Hurwitz said.
5. New Home Sales Miss. The pace of new home sales unexpectedly fell 1.6% to an annualized rate of 438,000 units, which was lower than the 460,000 unit rate expected by economists. “We have seen both existing and pending home sales lose a bit of steam recently, as well,” BNP Paribas’ Derek Lindsey reminded.
6. But Consumer Confidence Is Up! The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index surged to 93.6 in December, the highest level since January 2007. “Consumers held the most favourable long-term prospects for the national economy in the past decade,” said Richard Curtin, the survey’s director via Reuters. “Importantly, the 2014 gains in jobs and wages were widespread across all population subgroups and regions.”
7. And Personal Spending Is Up! Personal income climbed by 0.4% in November as personal spending growth accelerated to 0.6%. “We suspect that stronger real consumer spending data will help support Q4 growth momentum despite potentially weaker investment activity hinted at by the weaker durable goods orders report earlier this morning,” TD Securities Gennadiy Goldberg said.
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