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Indexes sold off quite quickly this AM on economic news, then stayed in a small range in the red all day. The S&P 500 fell 0.40% and the NASDAQ 0.42%. We are sort of in a weird period here where some days weak economic news is “good” because it keeps the Fed around at extreme measures, and other days it is “bad” because… well it is bad. Friday we have the monthly government data – even if we knew the #s right now it would be difficult to figure out how the market would react. Ahead of the Friday report, each first Wednesday of the month we have a private sector estimate for ADP: This months ADP employment report for March showed an increase of 189,000 in monthly private payrolls, below expectations of a modest rise to around 225,000. Also weak: The Manufacturing ISM for March posted 51.5 vs 52.9 the prior month, the weakest level on this indicator since last May. Construction spending fell 0.1% in February, for a second straight month of decline.
Overseas, China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was still tepid despite rising to 50.1 in March from February’s 49.9. The reading was a touch above the 50-mark that that separates growth from contraction.Continue reading