Stock futures were pointing to a higher open after yesterday’s selloff left all three major indexes down more than 2% on disappointing U.S. manufacturing data. The Dow is now down about 7% so far this year. Investors are have poured money into treasuries. The yield on the 10-year note dipped below 2.6 % this morning. The markets will have more economic data to digest this morning with factory orders for December released at 10am Eastern Time. That will be especially closely watched after yesterday's disappointing ISM manufacturing numbers.
The major automakers reported disappointing results in January, with one notable exception. General Motors' U.S. auto sales fell 12%. Ford and Toyota sales each declined 7%. All three were well below analysts’ estimates. Chrysler bucked the trend. Its sales rose sales 8% in January. GM, Ford and Toyota cited bad winter weather for the declines. Despite the declines, Toyota today raised its profit forecast for the year and also projected industry-wide sales would edge up to 16 million this year.
The next threat to auto sales could come from car-sharing companies, according to a new report. Half a million U.S. vehicle purchases already have been avoided due to car-sharing companies like ZipCar and Relay Rides. That according to consulting firm Alix Partners and CNBC. The study also forecasts that car-sharing could replace an additional 1.2 million auto sales by 2021.
The bad winter weather having a negative effect on the economy and stocks in 2014. Already this week, the weather has been blamed for disappointing manufacturing data that sent stocks tumbling yesterday. The weather also blamed for disappointing auto sales. And there's more bad weather on the way this week. There are winter storm warnings and advisories in effect from the Rockies, across the plains and the upper Midwest all the way to Maine. We'll see what kind of impact the weather has on February's economy.