Empire surprises

USA30, H4

The Empire State headline bounced in April to a 4-month high of 10.1 from a 2-year low of 3.7 in March and 8.8 in February, versus a 3-year high of 27.1 in October of 2017. The ISM-adjusted Empire State also rose to a 4-month high, of 54.0, from a 2-year low of 51.7 in March and 52.5 in February, versus a 12-year high of 57.6 in June of 2018 that was also seen in September of 2017.

Today’s first April producer sentiment report suggests a continued up-tilt for these measures following the winter setback, leaving solid growth prospects for the Q2 factory sector that bucks the market’s fears earlier in the year. A stabilization in sentiment has been seen since the late-2018 pull-back, with a small rise now in Q2. The US soft data measures have more generally defied market concerns about trade conflicts and global growth since the late-2016 upswing.

The ISM-adjusted average of the major producer sentiment surveys is expected to rise to 55 in April from a 2-year low of 54 over the four months through March, following averages of 57 in October and November, and cycle highs of 59 in four of the five months through September. The average is well below the 57-59 range evident since September of 2017.

Treasury yields edged higher after the better than expected data from the Empire State manufacturing report that supported growing beliefs that the sector is doing better in Q2.

The little rally on the USA30 has faded, however. Trading should be fairly consolidated today as the markets await earnings news all week, as well as retail sales data Thursday. It’s a shortened week too, with the markets closed Friday.

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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst

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