This Day in Stocks and Economy

The exciting release of industrial production and capacity utilization happened today! From the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System… “Industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, and the rates of change for previous months were revised down on net. Output is now reported to have declined 1.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. Manufacturing production moved down 0.5 percent in April after being unchanged in March. The index for mining advanced 1.6 percent in April, while the index for utilities fell 3.5 percent. At 109.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 0.9 percent higher in April than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.6 percentage point in April to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.”

The take… miss on both production and utilization. We’re at the weakest level since February of 2018.

Retail Sales

If you want to check the numbers yourself, here’s the PDF from Here’s the pertinent info… retail sales dropped 0.2% last month, declining in most major segments. This is the second drop in three months. Economists expected a slight climb, so we’re missing on all fronts today. Minus autos and gas, it’s still a 0.2% drop. Electronics, car dealers and home and garden centers were all weaker. The home and garden centers ticking down from March to April is a little scary. Heading further into the planting and spring cleanup season and there are actually less people shopping? Whew, I suppose care on Home Depot and Lowe’s until next months numbers come out to see if this was an anomaly.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Walmart jumps on the next-day delivery train err… truck? Next day service will start in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Southern California. They expect to expand to 75% of the U.S. population by the end of the year.

The retail arms race continues, meaning faster and cheaper service for us!

Happy Hump Day!