The Economic Data That Moved the Markets This Past Week

Despite the holiday-shortened trading week, investors were bombarded with economic data points that offered plenty of insight into the health of the U.S. economy. And most of the data was positive, leading investors to bid stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) rose 226 points, or 1.51%, and of its 30 components, only five ended the week in the red. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) rose 1.59%, while the Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC  ) increased by 2.23%.

Let's dive into the week's economic data.

Monday
On Monday, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending in May increased by 0.5% and hit an annual rate of $874.9 billion, the highest level in nearly four years. A big part of the boost came from a housing market that by most indications is really heating up. But, while we've been getting good news on home sales and construction starts, rising interest rates bear watching, as they could derail this train before it gets up to full speed.  

Tuesday
On Tuesday we got June's auto-sales numbers from Ford and General Motors, which both saw sales increase 13% and 6.5%, respectively. These reports were bolstered by a solid U.S. factory order report, which indicated that factory orders in May increased by 2.1%, up from an upward-revised 1.3% increase in April. Many economists look at this report to tell us how manufacturing in the U.S. is doing and what they can expect from the big industrial companies in the coming months. And I think analysts and economists will be raising forecasts after this report.  

Wednesday
On Wednesday, investors got both the ADP private-sector jobs report and the United States' International Trade report. The ADP jobs number was expected to come in at 160,000 but managed to reach 188,000 for the month of June. That was a welcomed surprise on the half-day of trading leading into the Fourth of July holiday on Thursday.

On the other hand, we learned that the U.S. trade deficit in May grew by more than the expected $40.1 billion to more than $45 billion. This report could mean that the U.S. is strengthening as consumers and businesses are buying more goods, but it could also mean that other nations around the world are weakening, causing them to buy less of what we have to offer. We already know China is slowing and Europe is a mess, and it's a little scary to consider that the rest of the world may not be all that healthy.  

Thursday
The markets were closed on Thursday. The only thing being released around my house was a lot of fireworks.

Friday
The Labor Department's monthly jobs report for June came in at 195,000 new jobs on Friday, while forecasts had pinned the number at a mere 155,000. The readings for April and May were both revised higher, too, by a total of 70,000 jobs. But although the jobs market is heating up, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 7.6%, as a higher number of Americans are participating in the workforce. To learn more about the jobs report, click here.

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  • Report this Comment On July 06, 2013, at 6:47 PM, shineridge wrote:

    The housing "boom" is a BUBBLE, which WILL burst. A large portion of the recent buyers of homes are FOREIGNERS who simply want to DUMP their dollars because they KNOW the dollar is gonna CRASH. And these foreign buyers are buying or building homes to RENT them out, NOT to live in them. They are SPECULATORS. And, recall that real estate speculators helped fuel and eventually bring about the real estate CRASH of 07 !!!! The economy is actually one very, very SICK PUPPY.

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