I doubt seriously whether anyone is inclined to change their outlook for risk assets (or any assets for that matter) based on durable goods orders for May, but, for what it’s worth, the headline print showed a 15.8% surge.
That’s far better than estimates and comes on the heels of a revised -18.1% plunge in April.
Attached is the obligatory caveat that the task of divining anything meaningful from May’s data is complicated by the fact that the economy was emerging from an unprecedented “induced coma” (if you will), but the 15.8% jump is the most in six years.
The non-defense, ex-aircraft print shows a rise of 2.3%, double the projected increase.
Core capital goods shipments ex-aircraft climbed 1.8% in May on the heels of April’s egregious 6.2% drop.
Again, I doubt whether anyone puts much stock in these figures right now, and the same goes for an ostensibly upbeat wholesale inventories print. But given that the recovery narrative (or, more aptly, the robustness of the recovery narrative) is all that matters, any incremental information requires documentation, no matter how tedious that seems.
To the extent any of Thursday’s good data might serve as a bullish catalyst, the tendency to view things through rose-colored lenses is undermined by rising infections across several states, which could imperil the nascent recovery.
Stubbornly elevated jobless claims figures are another wet blanket on sentiment.
Still, as Bloomberg’s Sebastian Boyd notes, Thursday’s data “point[s] to an economy that, while it may not be generating jobs yet, is at least moving”.
So, we’ve got that going for us.