Investors will get another number after Wednesday’s close that they should consider acting on—monthly U.S. auto sales.
May’s number will be solid if the figure from April is any indication. April’s total for light vehicles—monthly sales are reported as a seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR—came in at 18.5 million, the highest reading since 2005, according to data available on Bloomberg.
That level shows demand is strong, despite a worldwide automotive semiconductor shortage that is limiting the supply of new vehicles—and driving car prices higher. In turn, the higher prices are pushing up auto stocks, a dynamic that can last longer than investors might expect.
Constrained production caused by the chip shortage, along with rising prices for commodities used in cars, sound like a recipe for stock market disaster. The cost of copper,