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US stock market daily report (December 03, 2012, Monday)

December 4, 2012, Tuesday, 05:48 GMT | 00:48 EST | 10:18 IST | 12:48 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

New vehicle sales during November rose in spite of Hurricane Sandy and assisted by highest levels in consumer confidence seen in years.

Chrysler Group LLC reported a 14% increase in sales to 107,172 vehicles and recorded its best November since 2007. Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands all showed gains, with the last posting an impressive 123% jump. “Even with all the talk of a looming fiscal cliff, Chrysler Group LLC is well positioned for a strong sales finish to the year,” said Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales. “We are expecting a strong December as the industry continues to recover from the East Coast hurricane.”

Ford Motor Co. (F) reported November sales posted a 6% gain with sales hitting 177,673 units and retail sales hosted an increase of 12%. Ford car sales rose 15%, Ford truck sales rose 4%, Ford utility vehicle sales rose by 2% and Ford small car sales sky-rocketed higher by 76%. For electric-vehicle sales for the month of November were historically, best ever for Ford. “November represented a strong month for the industry, and Ford sales performed well across the board,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service for Ford. “We saw sharp increases in demand for Ford’s fuel-efficient small cars, our best-ever month for electrified vehicles and growing demand for our fuel-efficient and capable F-series pickups.” Expectations from Ford are to produce 750,000 vehicles during the first quarter of 2013 which will represent an increase by 11%.

General Motors Corp. (GM) reported new vehicle deliveries rose 3% to 186,505 vehicles in November, with Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet among top sellers and fleet sales surged by 16%. Passenger cars for GM were higher by 19%, crossovers rose 9% but, GM truck sales declined by 11%.  “In November, we saw strong car and crossover sales, and we continue to make inroads with younger customers, import drivers and buyers focused on fuel economy,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations for GM. “Sales at Cadillac and Buick are benefiting from the buzz generated by new products, including the Buick Verano, Cadillac XTS and Cadillac ATS.”

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) sold 161,695 units during November with an increase of 17.2%. The Toyota division was higher by 17.3% and Lexus sales rose 16.8%. “Replacement of vehicles damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy is partially responsible for strong sales,” said Bill Fay, a Toyota group vice president and general manager. “However, pent-up demand, record-low finance rates and exciting new products are also driving demand. Approximately 40% of the vehicles we sell this year will be all-new or significantly updated models.”

Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) tacked on sales gains by 13% to 96,197 units sold. Nissan division set a record for the month of November, with sales up 9.8% to 84,300 units including top sellers such as the Rogue crossover, Pathfinder SUV and Altima. Sales of Infiniti skyrocketed higher by 41% to just under 12,000. “Nissan’s significant portfolio refresh of five new models in 15 months is showing results with the new Pathfinder driving sales of the model up nearly 250%,” said Al Castignetti, vice president of Nissan division.

Hyundai, based in South Korea set a record gain of 8% for sales of 53,487 for November. “The Black Friday sales period once again provided a strong boost for Hyundai in the back half of the month and helped break our all-time November sales record,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of Hyundai sales. “We were also very encouraged by the strong sales recovery experienced in those Northeastern regions that were ravaged by superstorm Sandy, and expect continued momentum there for the balance of the year.”

The Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index reported the U.S. manufacturing health hit a six-month high during November, rising to 52.8 in November, better than the flash reading of 52.4 and up from 51.3 in October.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday that outlays for U.S. construction projects surged in October with construction spending rising 1.4%, easily beating analysts' expectations of a 0.5% gain. During October, private construction spending rose 1.6% while construction spending on public projects rose 0.8%. Private homebuilding construction spending surged 3.0% in October.

The Institute for Supply Management Index fell to 49.5% from 51.7% in October as U.S. manufacturers contracted during November and activity fell to the lowest level seen since July 2009, as new orders sank and employment plans were scaled back. In four of the last six months the index has fallen. Although the production index edged up to 53.7% from 52.4%, the ISM's new-orders gauge fell hard to 50.3% from 54.2%. The employment gauge struck the lowest level seen since September 2009 with a decline to 48.4% from 52.1%.