Stocks on Wall Street are higher on better than expected data and as China allows its currency to trade in a wider range.
Today’s U.S. reports revealed an upside surprise in February industrial production, thanks to bigger than assumed gains in all the major components except utilities, where analysts saw a surprisingly tiny 0.2% utility down-tick from an upwardly-revised January all-time high. The good February factory news was restrained by a small March Empire State headline rise to a still-lean 5.61, with a similarly modest ISM-adjusted rise to 51.6.
Factory gyrations have been dominated by weather distortions since November, as was also likely behind the two-month NAHB drop to 46 in February and 47 in March, though analysts assume some moderation in output growth thanks to a give-back of the inventory overbuild of late-2014. The single family sales index rose to 52 from 51.
Meanwhile, heading towards another likely Fed taper mid-week, the market may see a pullback. In corporate action, Keurig Green Mountain rose over 3% after S&P confirmed plans to add it to the 500.