Stocks finished the trading week on a mixed note as the NASDAQ rose while the Dow fell. At the close the Dow was lower by 58 points to close at 20,597 on lighter trading volume. The market rally is still under pressure. For the week the Dow lost about 1.3% or 280 points as the White House wrestles with congress over the Obamacare replacement bill. Time to call a doctor?
Durable goods orders continue to move higher in the latest readings for February lending support to the notion that manufacturing activity is picking up. Machinery orders have not seen a monthly decline since April 2016 and shipments of core capital goods rose 1.0%.
Europe is also seeing better days as the Markit flash composite PMI rose to 56.7 from a reading of 56 in February. This marks a six year high and is bolstering optimism over the eurozone which continues to battle Brexit issues, terror issues and debt in places like Greece and Italy.
Oil prices were up a tad with WTI crude gaining 30 cents a barrel to close at $48.04 per barrel. The world oil glut continues to influence prices as OPEC holds the line on production while US drillers ramp up output.