Good economic news seemed to be everywhere on Wednesday:
1. Toyota’s U.S. Sales Decline Less Than Forecast; Shares Surge (Bloomberg Full Story)
"Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales fell less than analysts predicted last month as the world’s largest carmaker offered near-record incentives to spur demand. The stock rose to the highest in almost five months."
2. Auto Makers See a Ray of Hope (WSJ Full Story)
"Despite reporting another major sales decline in March, auto makers expressed a rare bit of optimism Wednesday, saying they see signs the industry's downturn might be near bottom and a recovery could be starting."
3. The ISM Manufacturing index moves higher (Econoday Analysis Brief)
"The ISM's manufacturing index edged 5 tenths higher to 36.3 in March. New orders offers very good news as the index jumped more than 8 points to 41.2 in a reading that points to further improvement in durable goods orders. Backlog orders also improved as did employment while production held steady. Stocks pared losses in immediate reaction to the report, one which will build talk that the deepest part of the recession may be passing or may have already passed."
Our ISM Chart from last month graphs the trend line that is still on target for summer GDP growth.
4. Consumer, Investor Confidence at Six Month Highs (Rasmussen Full Story) The Rasmussen Consumer Confidence Index ended March at a level higher than the full month index reading for both June and July of last year. You'll remember that it is consumer confidence and retail sales that will drive 2/3 of this recovery.
5. Pending home sales up in sign of life for housing (Yahoo Full Story)
"Existing home sales rose 5.1 percent in February, the largest increase in nearly six years. Sales of new homes, meanwhile, rose 4.7 percent, and signed sales contracts for previously occupied homes rose 2.1 percent."
And of course the stock market in response continues it's swift and steep assent.
When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.