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Afternoon Note

Folks Thrilled with Current Conditions

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
3/16/2018 1:12 PM
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There was lots of economic data out this morning with great news offsetting disappointment on housing starts.

The one report that speaks the most about how politics and policies impact the optimism of the public is the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Report.  The Index rose to a 14 year high of 102 in March from 99.7 in February, as folks are thrilled with current conditions.

Major milestones include:

Interestingly, the report shows a major bifurcation in optimism as those households with incomes in the bottom third reported a 15.7 percentage point increase in optimism versus those in the top third that saw a 7.3 percentage point decline.

No doubt this reflects real changes in the fortunes of Main Street and anxiety among elites that President Trump might upset the status quo too much with things like tariffs.  This is also why the expectations component edged slight lower to 88.6 from 90.0.

Jobs Openings Record

One reason Main Street sentiment is soaring is jobs.  The JOLTs report showed a remarkable 645,000 monthly increase in job openings in January to an all-time record 6.3 million.  Construction job openings popped to 250,000 +68% and Manufacturing climbed to 427,000 +14%.

Housing starts, and permits were weaker than expected.

The good news is there was an increase in single-family starts and in the number of units under construction.

Permits

(In 000's)

% Change M/M

% Change Y/Y

Total

1298

-5.7

6.5

Single Family

 

872

 

0.6

4.6

Multi-Family

 

426

 

-14.7

2.15

Starts

(In 000's)

% Change M/M

% Change Y/Y

Total

1236

-7

-4

Single Family

 

902

 

2.9

2.9

Multi-Family

 

317

 

-28

-19.1

 

The market is higher, but as long as the Dow trades between 25,710 and 23,860, the day to day bounces will ignore the real news.  You shouldn’t, as clear winners continue to emerge for the next leg higher.


Comments
With the 'Tax Cuts', this is going to be a good year - strong economy and increasing momentum as we go forward. IMHO.

TOM HOLCOMB on 3/16/2018 2:06:10 PM
We can see the confidence, & PRIDE, ALL BACK thanks to pres Trump & administration , tax cuts. Charles PLEASE tell MS HARF, IRAN PAYOFF $150BILLION is NOT VERIFIED, She us WRONG, ask & then tell her, The bill c. Scam /Payoff to N.korea was VERIFIED as WELL, to STOP them N Korea from EVER GETTING a NUCLEAR weapon, look how well that has worked OUT! Also please keep her off during trades hrs. Every time the mrkt dropped all indexes when ms harf, is on the air, investors have requested this, & said PLEASE. Thank you CHARLES ,& FBN.

J on 3/16/2018 2:21:12 PM
 

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