May 3, 2018
After two weak months, trade data turned strong in March with exports climbing and imports falling. Factory orders proved very strong in both February and March though depth is thin with leadership confined to aircraft. Tariff effects in today's March reports are really not visible though the subject was the chief talking point of the ISM non-manufacturing survey with respondents warning of related price pressures and planning disruptions.
Bonds were little changed going into tomorrow's employment report where an unexpected jump in average hourly earnings could turn up the inflation temperature for all the financial markets. The Dow posted a fractional gain to 23,930 while the dollar index, which has been rallying, eased 0.3 percent on the day to 92.45.