The Dow closed off 54 points to 24,713 on slightly higher trading volume. During the day the Dow had been up and down as news reports regarding trade talks with China hit the wires. Retail stocks continue to move up and Nordstom’s is slated to report earnings after the closing bell.
In economic reports, April industrial production moved higher and currently supports a GDP growth rate of 4%. Industrial production rose 0.7% on strength in manufacturing, mining and utilities. April was the coldest April in 21 years which tells you why utility production was up. Mining benefited from increased oil and gas extraction and manufacturing benefited from a nice rise in auto production.
Interest rates continue to move higher as the 10 year Treasury yield went over 3.1%. The higher rates indicates that inflation is a concern and that economic growth is pushing up the demand for money, goods and services. Within the stock market, energy stocks are strong as oil prices continue to rise. WTI crude traded over $71 per barrel today and the rig count continues to increase. Material stocks (steel, copper, lumber, etc.) are also higher because demand is stong and supplies appear to be tight in the face of a positive global economic growth trend.