Despite the stabilization in the stock market, the Fed Fund Futures is still pricing in a zero percent chance of a rate hike for 2016. Also attempting to stabilize is the manufacturing sector. With the dollar still proving almighty compared to foreign currency, the cost to produce goods domestically surpasses the cost to import them from overseas. Consequently, our factories are slowing down. The Empire State Manufacturing Index declined 16.64% this month, which is above last month’s 19.6% drop to be sure, but well off of the expected 9.9% decrease.
The demand for new homes has also waned marginally; the NAHB Housing Index drops to 58 from 61. Where a measure of 50 is the baseline for a healthy building environment, the new construction industry is still looking pretty good.