Even though this morning’s calendar has had its fair share of data, most markets have been quite with little volatility. Earlier today, the New York Fed’s Empire Manufacturing Index fell 2.05 points to 22.86. The print was close to expectations with new orders up nearly 17 points and shipments plus 10 points. Inventory rebuilding supported the number with unfilled orders, inventories, and employment all showing positive gains. The proof will be if buyers take the new merchandise off the shelves.
Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization were also on the menu, up .1% and .2% in February. This release had a heavy dose of weather related slow down, affecting construction and other outdoor occupations in its wake. We would expect a much stronger number for March.
One of indexes we follow is the Treasury International Capital Flows or TIC data. The index measures net acquisition of securities by foreign parties. The data shows a slowdown of 33.4 billion in purchases for January. This lagging indicator is important to our industry and to Uncle Sam’s debt. China is till the top purchaser so let’s hope our Treasury Secretary and Google don’t tick em’ off too bad.
Technically, we are trading near the upper end of a narrow range. The trade is constructive, holding gains of late last week. With the FOMC meeting tomorrow ( 1 day meeting), we expect the market to stay quiet until the policy statement is released (1:15 pm cst tomorrow). Currently, the 10 year note is off 3/32’s (yield 3.72%), mortgage backs off 2/32’s, and stocks off 35 points on the big board.