The economic data wasn't very exciting. However, there was a ton of company-specific news. Meanwhile, stocks continue to sit at 5-year highs.
First the scoreboard:
And now the top stories:
- Consumer prices were unchanged in December, which is exactly what economists expected. Excluding food and energy, prices climbed 0.1 percent, which was a tad below the 0.2 percent gain expected. That latter measure climbed 1.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. During the December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed said that it would use a 2.5 percent inflation rate threshold to help guide monetary policy. Today's low number reminds us that rates could stay lower for longer.
- Industrial production climbed by 0.3 percent in December, which was right in line with expectations. Manufacturing production increased by 0.8 percent, which was better than the 0.5 percent gain expected. "Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.1 percentage point to 78.8 percent, a rate 1.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2011) average," wrote the Federal Reserve in its report.
- According to the National Association Of Homebuilders, sentiment stayed flat at 47 in January, which was a bit lower than the 48 that economists were expecting. Nevertheless, the measure continues to sit comfortably at its highest level since 2006.
- Rounding out the scheduled economic reports was the Fed's Beige Book of economic anecdotes from across the country. All regions reported "modest or moderate" growth. There was much more to the report, but the overall message was that the economy continues to grow, but continues to grow slowly. Here's The True Story Of How California Came Back From The Brink And Started Kicking Ass Again >
- Q4 earnings season continues to heat up. Banking giants Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan both beat analysts' expectations and saw their shares rally.
- The big winners today were definitely the gun manufacturers. Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger both surged as President Obama and VP Joe Biden spoke about tightening gun safety laws. Typically, this tough talk motivates gun enthusiasts to shop for fear that they may no longer be able to buy guns in the future.
- Shares of Boeing, however, tumbled today. Last night, All Nippon Airlines grounded its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners after a plane faced a mechanical issue. ANA's announcement was followed by Japan Airlines who also said it would ground its Dreamliners.
- In a note to clients, Societe Generale's bearish strategist Albert Edwards noted that the S&P 500 is exactly 807 points above its March 2009 low of 666. From its 2002 low to its 2007 high, the S&P 500 moved exactly 807 points. "U.S. S&P rally from low looks spookily similar to 2007," wrote Edwards.
- Don't Miss: Portfolio Manager Creates Dazzlingly Deep Presentation On What's Really Going On With The US Economy >
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