The first pieces of this week's economic data landed earlier on Monday, with durable goods orders data coming in stronger-than-expected for May. The headline new order figure rose 0.7% vs. April, a brisker pace than the 0.1% consensus and a pickup from the 0.4% posted in April. The corresponding shipment figure also picked up nicely rising 1.3% sequentially in May, up from 0.3% in April. One of the reasons we use this report is it contains both shipment and order data for a variety of categories, which makes it a rather useful proxy for capital spending by businesses. Looking at that line item, we see that not only did shipments strengthen in May from April but new orders for the category did as well.

In response to this data, we're likely to see the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model inch higher, but we have to remember several other pieces of data are looming as well. Taken together, we'll have a much better sense exiting the week what the gross domestic product reading for the current quarter is likely to be. While it will be some time until we get the June durable goods orders data, when we do get it, we'll want to contrast it against the S&P Global's Flash U.S. June PMI that showed new manufacturing orders contracting. We've learned several times in the past not to rest a decision on what any one set of data tells us, but rather to compare it with other data sets. Doing so helps identify shortcoming in the data, but also where the real weakness may as well as where things may be stronger than expected. And, yes, we will be sizing up the S&P Global report for June vs. the one from ISM due later this week.

Digging a bit further into the May durable goods orders data and new orders for primary metals rose 3.1%, following their 1.9% rise in April and new orders for machinery rose 1.1% after rising 1.0% in April. We see those as positive for our positions in Nucor (NUE)  and United Rentals (URI) , especially after the ABA's May Architectural Billings Index as well as for Deere's (DE)  business and or shares in the company.

DE, URI, NUE are holdings in the AAP.