U.S. auto sales moved into the fast lane in November, racking up the best sales in nearly two years on an annualized basis. And the numbers were even more encouraging, since customers continued to buy even though carmakers lowered incentives.
Sales at General Motors were up 7% thanks to the Chevy Cruze, which is America’s top-selling car.
But GM, like many of its peers, is facing a tough road ahead in Europe, warns CEO, Dan Akerson…
“We see serious warning storm clouds, if you will, on the horizon in Europe. A lot of consumer confidence has been eroding; a lot of uncertainty in Europe about the economy and whether it’s going to go into recession.”
No such worries in the United States, where those stronger car sales show that Americans are spending. That was echoed by November sales figures from many of the nation’s retailers. But the gains were not shared by all…
Stores like Macy’s and Best Buy – that were willing to try new things – were rewarded with better sales.
With products moving off the shelf and cars driving off of lots, it’s no wonder U.S. factory activity grew at its fastest pace in five months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
But a rise in weekly jobless claims kept job worries from easing too much ahead of Friday’s key monthly jobs report.
As for Wall Street, investors showed some fatigue after a powerful rally the day before, with stocks staying close to opening levels.
In Europe, investors moved to the sidelines as borrowing costs in Spain hit a 14-year high.
Bottom line: U.S. auto sales hit its highest pace in nearly two years. November chain store sales were largely positive. The U.S. factory sector expansion continued in November. Jobless claims climbed back above key level, and the Dow and S&P 500 snapped three-day rally.