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The Economic Data That Moved the Markets This Past Week

Matt Thalman
July 6, 2013

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 (INDEX: ^DJI) rose 226 points, or 1.51%, and of its 30 components, only five ended the week in the red. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) rose 1.59%, while the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) increased by 2.23%.

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

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.  

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.  

On Wednesday, investors got both the ADP private-sector jobs report and the United States' International Trade report. The ADP jobs