The Institute for Supply Management released a report today showing somewhat tepid growth in the manufacturing sector in February, but stocks that rely on manufacturing appear to be shrugging the report off. The ISM’s national manufacturing index fell to 52.4% in February from 54.1% in January, indicating that the sector is still growing but at a less robust pace.
Nonetheless, the overall market is slightly higher today and manufacturers are mostly trading in positive territory; General Electric (GE) is trading 0.4% higher, Honeywell (HON) is up 0.8%, and Boeing (BA) is 0.2% higher. 3M (MMM), however, is down 0.3%.
That could be because the government and retailers released a mixed bag of data and investors are choosing to focus on the more optimistic points. Retail sales were surprisingly strong in February and successful bond sales in France and Spain are helping lead financials higher. However, income and spending data showed stagnation among U.S. households.