S&P 500 Hits All-time High after Strong Durable Goods Report
Stocks started the US trading session mixed. Prior to the release of the Commerce Department durable goods report, tensions related to Ukraine has generated headwinds for equity bourses, with European shares weighing on US shares. The 8:30 ET released of durable goods gave a boost to stocks, creating a mixed open. Stocks moved higher throughout the trading session and the S&P 500 finally hit an all-time high.
Durable goods orders, which are items that are forecast to last 3-years or more declined by 1% in January after declining 5.3% in December. Economists had expected a decline of 1.5% last month after December’s previously reported 4.2% decline.
Durable goods order x-transportation rose last month as did a gauge of future business spending. The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that durable goods orders excluding transportation rose 1.1 %, the largest increase since May, after falling 1.9% in December. Economists had expected this category to fall 0.3%.
Non-defense capital goods orders a proxy for future business spending rose 1.7% after dropping by a revised 1.8 percent in December. Economists had expected business investment to decline 0.5% last month after a previously reported 0.6 percent fall in December.
On the employment front, jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 348,000 in the week ended Feb. 22, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey and the highest level in a month, from 334,000 in the prior period. Economists had forecast claims to rise 1,000 to 335,000. The prior week’s claims were revised down to 334,000 from an initial reading of 336,000.
The S&P 500 index edged through resistance and will likely test 1880 as its next target. Momentum is strong with the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index printing in positive territory with an upward sloping trajectory.
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