Best Business Conditions of the 21st Century

The United States, and the rest of the world, are looking to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, and business conditions may already have put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror—at least according to the monthly business surveys conducted by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Manufacturing PMI surged to 64.7 in March versus 60.8 a month prior (index levels above 50 indicate expansion) and above all but one of the Bloomberg consensus survey estimates. Read more

Retail Sales Rebound

Retail sales rebound in January. US retail sales rose 5.3% month over month in January according to the US Census Bureau, ahead of Bloomberg consensus forecasts of 1.1%. The surge in retail sales was the highest in seven months, a strong response following December’s 1% decline as fresh stimulus checks helped spur consumer demand following the headwinds caused by rising COVID-19 cases at the end of 2020. Further, strong January retail sales should remove much of the risk for the US economy to stall in the first quarter of 2021. Read more

Should Investors Root For Tom Brady Or Patrick Mahomes?

The Super Bowl Indicator suggests stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner has come from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team has won, stocks fall. We would be the first to admit that this indicator has no connection to the stock market, but “data don’t lie”: The S&P 500 Index has performed better, and posted positive gains with greater frequency, over the past 54 Super Bowl games when NFC teams have won. Of course, it doesn’t always work, as stocks did quite well the past two years even though AFC teams won. Read more