The Commerce Dept reported today that factory orders came in +1.8% for December, about 20% under estimates. Orders for core capital goods were actually down in December, down -0.3%. That doesn’t bode well for future business. However, it followed 3% numbers for the previous two months.
Durable goods orders were up more than 4% but that was skewed by big increases in military and aircraft spending, two volatile categories. Orders for nondurable goods declined in December.
Sometimes things get skewed at the end of the year and I think that was especially the case in December as there was so much uncertainty about things in DC. Because of that, I would not get alarmed about these numbers.
Stocks are down a little over 3/4% today, while bonds, which do better when the economy is soft, are up slightly.