5 Stock Market Changers – May 1 – 2011

  • ISM Index: The recovering global economy is driving demand for durable products. The U.S. manufacturing sector, which accounts for 11 percent of the economy, has expanded for 20 consecutive months. New orders for durable goods rose more than expected in March, and orders for February were stronger than initially thought. Will this trend continue? April data come out Monday at 10 a.m.
  • Construction Spending: Construction spending remains in the doldrums and continues to drag on the economic recovery. Residential construction has dropped to about 3 percent of GDP, while nonresidential construction is about 4%. Some economists blame the harsh winter weather in the first two months of the year for depressing construction activity. Let’s see if the number picks up as temps warm up. Watch for March data on Monday at 10 a.m.
  • Factory Orders: Even as the economy slowed in the first quarter of the year, an increase in factory orders shows the manufacturing sector is powering the economic recovery. Unfortunately, even the Federal Reserve acknowledges the recovery is only limping along — before the central bank wrapped up its two-day meeting on Wednesday, it acknowledged the recovery is proceeding at a “moderate pace” and signaled it’s in no rush to prematurely end QE2 before the scheduled end in June. March data are due out Tuesday at 10 a.m.
  • ISM Services: After reaching its highest level since August 2005, the ISM Services Index pulled back slightly in March from February. Even so, the Index still indicates continued growth for the US economy. April numbers come out on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
  • Consumer Credit: Consumer credit increased in February to its fifth consecutive monthly increase as consumers took out more closed-end loans for big-ticket items such as cars, boats, and vacations. The increase in non-revolving credit was the largest since October 2010 and marked the seventh straight month of increases. Data for March come out Friday at 3 p.m.

from www.moneynews.com