Stocks were mixed at the open but closed with a bullish move higher as the Dow finished up 110 points at 25,669. Trading volume started strong but finished light. For the week the Dow was up 365 points or roughly 1.4%.
Nordstrom’s, the Seattle based retailer with not one but three presidents, Blake, Erik and Peter, reported earnings which were very good. Revenue was up 7% and net income gained 46% sending shares to a 52-week high. Comp store sales were up 4% which was much better than the 0.8%. Digital sales were up 23% and now make up 34% of total sales up from 29% a year ago. Speaking of online sales and shipping, the Wall Street Journal reported that orders for big trucks are through the roof. The wait times for delivery of heavy duty trucks is now at 9 months and is the longest since 2006 as a rush of orders has swamped the ability of manufacturers to keep up. Companies like Paccar, which makes Kenworth and Peterbuilt, Navistar, Cummins and Volvo are all busier than a one-legged man in a fanny kicking contest. The article noted that truck demand points to a robust economy.
Housing markets are cooling a bit. Housing starts came in with a 0,9% increase in the latest month and are up 5.9% year over year. The latest reading was well below estimates and some are calling this a sign that housing is turning lower. While that may be true home builder sentiment is near all-time highs and builders are complaining about not being able to find enough labor to complete projects