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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Friday, December 29, 2006

The 3 Majors Declined On The Day, But Advanced On Both The Week and The Year

All 3 major indexes lost some ground today, but all 3 gained for the week and for the year. 1,024,068,520 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 119.93 points (+0.972%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 14.11 points (+0.588%), and the S and P 500 Index advanced by 7.54 points (+0.534%).

For the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 1,745.65 points (+16.288%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 209.97 points (+9.521%), and the S and P 500 Index added 170.01 points (+13.619%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,463.15 (-38.37)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,415.29 (-10.28)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,418.30 (-6.43)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.05/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $636.00/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7576 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3199 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.71%


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The New York Stock Exchange & The NASDAQ Stock Market Will Be Closed for 4 Days In A Row

The New York Stock Exchange® and the NASDAQ Stock Market® will be closed on Monday, January 1 and Tuesday, January 2, 2007. The exchanges will be closed on Monday, January 1 for the New Year's Day holiday, and on Tuesday, January 2, in observance of a national day of mourning for President Gerald R. Ford.


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Thursday, December 28, 2006

All 3 Majors Retreated Today On A Sharp Decline In Crude Oil Stocks

All 3 major indices declined today despite positive reports on existing home sales and consumer confidence: investors reacted to a sharp decline in crude oil stocks and a decreased likelihood that the Fed will cut interest rates before Q3, 2007. 906,701,940 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,501.52 (-9.05)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,425.57 (-5.65)

S + P 500: Closed @ 1,424.73 (-2.11)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $60.60/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $633.40/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7596 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3164 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.69%


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Existing Home Sales for November, 2006

The Existing Home Sales report for November, 2006 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 6,200,000
Actual: 6,280,000

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In November, 2006: $218,000

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In November, 2006: $266,000


The U.S. Existing Home Sales report is a sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for a given month. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.

Click here to view the full NAR report.


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 22, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 22, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -8,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -1,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 321,000,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December, 2006

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (December, 2006) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 101.0
Actual: 109.0

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feeling regarding the current U.S. economy, the future of the U.S. economy, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

The baseline "100" score for the CCI is linked to 1985 survey data.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is almost always released on the last Tuesday of the month.

Last month, the CCI was 102.9.


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 23, 2006

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 23, 2006:

Predicted: 315,000
Actual: 317,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today On An Encouraging New Home Sales Report

All 3 major indices advanced today as investors got bullish about the prospect that the nation's housing market may be on the rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossed the 12,500 mark, and closed with a brand new, record-high value: 12,510.57. 974,846,540 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,510.57 (+102.94)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,431.22 (+17.71)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,426.84 (+9.94)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $60.38/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $627.20/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7626 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3113 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.654%


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New Home Sales for November, 2006

The November, 2006 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted New Home Sales for November, 2006: 1,015,000

Actual New Home Sales for November, 2006: 1,047,000

October, 2006 New Home Sales (Revised): 1,037,000

November, 2005 New Home Sales: 1,346,000

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November New Home Sales: Median Price: $251,700

November New Home Sales: Average Price: $294,900


Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the monthly New Home Sales report measures the number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for a given month.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and microwave ovens.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 23, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 23, 2006 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.9%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores -- about 9,000 stores in total -- and is therefore an important measure of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up by 2.9% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All 3 Majors Gained On A Sharp Decline In Crude Oil Prices

All 3 major indices advanced today as the price on a barrel of crude oil for future delivery dropped below the $61 mark. 793,401,570 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,407.63 (+64.41)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,413.51 (+12.33)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,416.90 (+6.14)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $60.85/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $619.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7625 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3114 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.603%


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Monday, December 25, 2006

The New York Exchanges Are Closed Today

The New York exchanges, including:

The New York Stock Exchange®
The NASDAQ Stock Market®
The American Stock Exchange®
The New York Mercantile Exchange

are closed today in observance of the Christmas Day holiday.


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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The New York Exchanges Will Be Closed Tomorrow

The New York exchanges, including:

The New York Stock Exchange®
The NASDAQ Stock Market®
The American Stock Exchange®
The New York Mercantile Exchange

will be closed on Monday, December 25, 2006, in observance of the Christmas Day holiday.


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Friday, December 22, 2006

All 3 Majors Declined On The Day and For The Week

The 3 major indices retreated today; all 3 also declined for the week. 991,072,680 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 102.30 points (-0.829%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 56.02 points (-2.333%), and the S and P 500 Index lost 16.33 points (-1.158%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,343.22 (-78.03)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,401.18 (-14.67)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,410.76 (-7.54)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.41/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $619.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7617 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3128 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.624%


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Consumer Sentiment for December, 2006

Consumer Sentiment for December, 2006:

Predicted: 91.0
Actual: 91.7

The Consumer Sentiment Index is compiled on a monthly basis by the University of Michigan; 500 U.S. households are queried about their own financial circumstances and about the economy in general. 200 questions are asked, e.g. "Do you think that right now is a good time to purchase a major household item, like a new microwave oven, TV set, or a new sofa?"

The Consumer Sentiment Index uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the Consumer Sentiment Index = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as the sample that was polled back in 1966.

The Consumer Sentiment Index is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer insight into consumer spending.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Last month, the Consumer Sentiment Index was 92.1.


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Personal Income & Consumer Spending In November, 2006

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis released their report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income in November, 2006:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.5%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Durable Goods Orders Report for November, 2006 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for November, 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: +1.2%
Actual: +1.9%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers. Examples of durable goods: cars, microwave ovens, computers -- items that are built to last 3+ years.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure. The Durable Goods Orders report is produced by the Commerce Department.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

All 3 Majors Declined On Revised Third-Quarter GDP Data

All 3 major indexes declined today despite a drop in crude oil prices, as investors reacted to news that the economy didn't grow as fast as previously thought during the third quarter of 2006. 1,359,074,630 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,421.25 (-42.62)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,415.85 (-11.76)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,418.30 (-5.23)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.66/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $617.70/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7572 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3206 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.549%


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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Final" Released Today for Q3, 2006

The final, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the third quarter of 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: +2.2 %
Actual: +2.0 %

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Today's final GDP report contains the most authoritative data for Q3, 2006.

The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

Here's a snippet from a press release issued by the Commerce Department this morning:

"Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2006, according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the preliminary estimates issued last month. In the preliminary estimates, the increase in real GDP was 2.2 percent (see "Revisions" on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, equipment and software, nonresidential structures, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter primarily reflected an acceleration in imports, a larger decrease in residential fixed investment, and decelerations in PCE for services, in private inventory investment, and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by upturns in equipment and software, in PCE for durable goods, and in federal government spending.

Final sales of computers contributed 0.07 percentage point to the third-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.04 percentage point to the second-quarter growth. Motor vehicle output contributed 0.76 percentage point to the third-quarter growth in real GDP after subtracting 0.31 percentage point from the second-quarter growth."

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Leading Economic Indicators for November, 2006

The Conference Board report on the nation's Leading Economic Indicators for November, 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: 0.0 %
Actual: +0.1 %

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The Leading Economic Indicators Index is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns, respectively:

  1. The Money Supply (M2)
  2. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index
  3. The interest rate spread between the yield on Ten-Year Treasury Notes and the Fed Funds Target Rate

  4. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials
  5. Manufacturer's new orders for non-defense capital goods
  6. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance
  7. Average weekly manufacturing hours
  8. The Index of Consumer Expectations
  9. Vendor performance
  10. Building permits for new private housing


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 16, 2006

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 16, 2006:

Predicted: 310,000
Actual: 315,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Significant Drop In Crude Oil Inventories Contributed to All 3 Majors Retreating Today

All 3 major indices retreated today on a sharp decline in U.S. crude oil stocks. 1,380,567,720 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,463.87 (-7.45)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,427.61 (-1.94)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,423.53 (-2.02)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $63.44/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $620.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7572 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3206 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.595%


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 15, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 15, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -6,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +6,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 329,100,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The DJIA Advanced Today and Set A New, Record-High Close Value; S&P 500 Also Gained; NASDAQ Retreated

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed with a brand new, record-high value today (12,471.32) despite crude oil for future delivery jumping back up above the $63 mark, and November wholesale data released today that essentially lessens the likelihood of a Fed rate cut next year. 1,571,303,610 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Shares of NYSE Group (NYX) added $1.89 (+1.86%) to close @ $103.36 on news that Euronext shareholders have given the green light for the merging of Paris-based Euronext with the New York Stock Exchange®. The world's first trans-Atlantic equities market will become a reality once NYSE Group shareholders approve the deal. NYSE Group owns the New York Stock Exchange®.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,471.32 (+30.05)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,429.55 (-6.02)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,425.55 (+3.07)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $63.30/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $622.00/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7571 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3208 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.599%


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Producer Price Index (PPI) for November, 2006

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for November, 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +2.0%

Below is the PPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +1.3%


The above numbers represent the month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and capital equipment that producers buy in order to produce finished goods for consumers. The PPI is an important part of the overall inflation picture for the country because when costs go up for producers, producers will often pass those increased costs on to consumers.

The PPI is released by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The PPI is a family or amalgamation of indexes, including The:

  • All Commodities Index
  • Crude Energy Materials Index
  • Crude Foodstuffs & Feedstuffs Index
  • Crude Materials for Further Processing Index
  • Finished Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Foods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Energy Goods Index
  • Finished Goods: Capital Equipment Index
  • Finished Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Goods Less Energy Index
  • Finished Goods Less Food & Energy Index
  • Fuels & Related Products & Power Index
  • Industrial Commodities Index
  • Intermediate Energy Goods Index
  • Intermediate Foods & Feeds Index
  • Intermediate Materials: Supplies & Components Index

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 16, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 16, 2006 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.6%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores -- about 9,000 stores in total -- and is therefore an important measure of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up by 2.6% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Housing Starts in November, 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for November, 2006:

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,550,000
Actual: 1,588,000

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,506,000

The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in The United States for last month. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States, or about the American construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. The monthly Housing Starts report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise--and vice versa.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Monday, December 18, 2006

All 3 Majors Closed Lower Today

All 3 major indices lost some ground today, as investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the market ahead of key government economic reports due out this week. Crude oil for future delivery dropped below the $63 mark. 1,500,996,700 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,441.27 (-4.25)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,435.57 (-21.63)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,422.48 (-4.61)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.25/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $615.20/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7632 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3104 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.587%


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Friday, December 15, 2006

All 3 Majors Closed Higher On The Day & For The Week

All 3 major indices advanced today as investors got bullish about new evidence that inflation is subsiding. New York Spot Gold fell below the $615 mark. 2,110,300,980 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 138.03 points (+1.122%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 19.84 points (+0.814%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 17.25 points (+1.224%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,445.52 (+28.76)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,457.20 (+3.35)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,427.09 (+1.60)

----------------------------------------------------------
WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $63.43/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $614.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7645 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.308 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.597%


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Industrial Production for November, 2006

The Industrial Production numbers for November, 2006 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 82.1%
Actual: 81.8%


The above Industrial Production numbers represent the month-to-month change in physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

The Capacity Utilization Rate percentages represent the use of available resources at mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States last month.

The "predicted" figures are what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.


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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, 2006

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, 2006:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.0%

Below is the CPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.0%

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The above numbers represent the seasonally-adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The CPI for November, 2006: 201.5 (the baseline 100 score is pegged to 1982-1984 data. In other words, consumer prices have more than doubled since the early 80's)


General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food & Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services (grooming expenses, etc.)

Click here to view the full Labor Department report
.


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Thursday, December 14, 2006

All 3 Majors Gained Today, with A New Record-High Close for The Dow

All 3 major indexes advanced today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed with a brand new, record-high value: 12,416.76. 1,571,515,990 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,416.76 (+99.26)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,453.85 (+21.44)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,425.49 (+12.28)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.60/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $625.40/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7609 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3142 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.595%


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U.S. Import and Export Price Indices for November, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the price indices for U.S. imports and exports for November, 2006 :

Import Prices
Predicted: 0.0
Actual: +0.2%

Export Prices

Actual:
+0.4%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices for

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the U.S.

  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the U.S. and sold in other countries.

Together, these indices offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The following is a clip from today's Labor Department report:

"Import Goods

Import prices rose 0.2 percent in November following the petroleum-driven declines of 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent in October and September, respectively. The index for overall imports increased 1.2 percent over the past 12 months. Petroleum prices fell a more modest 1.6 percent in November compared to the double-digit declines recorded in the prior two months. Despite the recent downturn, petroleum prices advanced 1.5 percent for the year ended in November. Nonpetroleum prices resumed an upward trend in November, following a 0.5 percent decline in October, rising 0.7 percent for the month and 1.3 percent over the past year.

A 2.9 percent increase in the price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials was the largest contributor to the higher nonpetroleum prices in November. That increase was largely attributable to a sharp upturn in natural gas prices. Excluding all fuels, import prices rose a modest 0.1 percent. The November increase in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials prices followed a 2.7 percent downturn in October that was caused in part by a large decline in natural gas prices. Foods, feeds, and beverages prices also advanced in November, rising 0.4 percent. Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages increased 5.0 percent for the November 2005-2006 period.

In contrast, prices for each of the major finished goods areas were unchanged in November. Capital goods prices have remained unchanged since a 0.1 percent up-tick in July and rose a modest 0.2 percent overall for the year ended in November. The price indexes for consumer goods and automotive vehicles were also up over the past 12 months, rising 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.


Export Goods

Prices for exports increased 0.4 percent in November after falling 0.3 percent in October and 0.4 percent in September. The November increase resumed a year-long upward trend for the index, which advanced 3.9 percent over the past 12 months. A 4.4 percent increase in agricultural prices led the November advance and was the largest one-month gain for that index since prices of agricultural exports rose 5.4 percent in September 2003. The November increase in agricultural prices was led by higher prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The agricultural exports price index advanced 10.4 percent for the year ended in November. Nonagricultural prices also increased in November, rising 0.1 percent after decreasing 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent in October and September, respectively. Despite those declines, the index rose 3.4 percent over the past year.

The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials rose 0.3 percent in November. Higher prices for metals and fuel were partially offset by falling prices for chemicals. Prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials increased 8.4 percent over the past 12 months. A 0.1 percent rise in capital goods prices also contributed to the increase in nonagricultural prices. The November increase followed a 0.2 percent advance in each of the prior two months and the index rose 1.2 percent for the November 2005-2006 period.

In contrast, automotive vehicle prices edged down 0.1 percent in November, the first decrease for the index since a 0.1 percent dip in December 2005. Despite the downturn, prices for automotive vehicles increased 1.2 percent for the year ended in November.

Consumer goods prices were unchanged in November and up 2.0 percent over the past 12 months."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 9, 2006

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 9, 2006:

Predicted: 320,000
Actual: 304,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The 3 Majors Closed Essentially Flat Today

All 3 major indices closed essentially flat today on stronger-than-expected November retail and food services sales, a drop in crude oil stocks and higher crude oil prices. 1,471,455,080 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,317.50 (+1.92)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,432.41 (+0.81)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,413.21 (+1.65)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.55/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $628.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7569 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3212 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.577%


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 8, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 8, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +14,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 335,400,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


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U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for November, 2006

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for November, 2006:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +1.0%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual : +1.1%


The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable & non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food & beverage services.

Retail & Food Services Sales since November, 2005: +5.6%.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full report.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The 3 Majors Declined Today Despite Cheaper Crude Oil & Fed Inaction

All 3 major indices declined today despite cheaper crude oil prices and Fed inaction on short-term interest rates. 1,529,808,610 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,315.58 (-12.90)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,431.60 (-11.26)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,411.56 (-1.48)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.06/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $628.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7531 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3278 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.491%


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International Trade Balance Level for October, 2006

The International Trade Balance Level for October, 2006 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: $ -63,000,000,000
Actual: $ -58,900,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the balance of trade--imports vs. exports--between the United States and all other countries, and includes both goods and services. A negative number represents a trade deficit, while a positive number represents a trade surplus.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Treasury Budget for November, 2006

The U.S. Treasury Budget monthly account for November, 2006 was released today:

Predicted: -72,200,000,000
Actual: -$75,600,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the monthly balance on the U.S. federal government's "books" and is compiled by The Treasury Department. A positive number represents a surplus, while a negative represents a deficit.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting.


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 9, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 9, 2006 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.5%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores -- about 9,000 stores in total -- and is therefore an important measure of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up by 2.5% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

The 3 Majors Gained Today On Cheaper Crude Oil

All 3 major indices advanced today as the price on a barrel of crude oil for future delivery fell below the $62 mark. 1,306,085,480 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,328.48 (+20.99)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,442.86 (+5.50)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,413.04 (+3.20)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.22/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $628.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7542 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.326 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.52%


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Friday, December 08, 2006

All 3 Majors Gained On The day, and For The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced today on news that an estimated 132,000 jobs were added to the U.S. workforce last month. 1,361,837,510 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 113.36 points (+0.93%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 24.15 points (+1.001%), and the S&P 500 Index gained 13.13 points (+0.94%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,307.49 (+29.08)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,437.36 (+9.67)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,409.84 (+2.55)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.03/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $626.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7574 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3202 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.552%


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Employment Situation Report for November, 2006

The Employment Situation report for November, 2006 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +100K
Actual: +132K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.9 hrs
Actual: 33.9 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 4.5%
Actual: 4.5%

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money, b) unemployment is low and c) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.


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Consumer Sentiment (Preliminary) for December, 2006

The preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index for December, 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: 92.0
Actual: 90.2

The Consumer Sentiment Index is compiled on a monthly basis by the University of Michigan; 500 U.S. households are queried about their own financial circumstances and about the economy in general. 200 questions are asked, e.g. "Do you think that right now is a good time to purchase a major household item, like a new microwave oven, TV set, or a new sofa?"

The Consumer Sentiment Index uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the Consumer Sentiment Index = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as the sample that was polled back in 1966 (and vice versa.)

The Consumer Sentiment Index is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer insight into consumer spending.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Declined Today On Jitters Related to Tomorrow's Employment Report

All 3 major indices retreated today on investor nervousness related to tomorrow's Employment Situation Report. 1,450,660,120 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,278.41 (-30.84)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,427.69 (-18.17)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,407.29 (-5.61)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.84/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $630.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7528 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3284 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.483%


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Consumer Credit Status Report for October, 2006 Released Today

The Consumer Credit status report for October, 2006 was released by the Fed earlier this afternoon:

Actual: -$1,200,000,000

The above figures represent the month-to-month change in total outstanding, installment-based consumer credit; includes car loans and credit cards.


Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 2, 2006

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 2, 2006:

Predicted: 325,000
Actual: 324,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

All 3 Majors Retreated Today

All 3 major indices retreated today. 1,538,255,990 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,309.25 (-22.35)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,445.86 (-6.52)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,412.90 (-1.86)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.32/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $631.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7515 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3306 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.481%


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 1, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 1, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +19,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 339,700,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

All 3 Majors Gained Grond On Encouraging Productivity Data

All 3 major indexes advanced today as investors reacted positively to the improved numbers in the revised, third-quarter productivity report released this morning. 1,547,134,060 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,331.60 (+47.75)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,452.38 (+3.99)

S + P 500: Closed @ 1,414.76 (+5.64)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.54/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $641.20/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.752 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3298 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.442%


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U.S. Factory Orders Report for October, 2006

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for October, 2006:

Predicted: -4.5%
Actual: -4.7%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by from U.S. manufacturers. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 2, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 2, 2006 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.4%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores -- about 9,000 stores in total -- and is therefore an important measure of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up by 2.4% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q3, 2006 (Revised) Released Today

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released their revised report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the third-quarter of 2006:

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.2%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +3.2%
Actual: +2.3%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs.

For non-farm productivity, a positive number represents an improvement in the efficiency of producing domestic goods and services in the U.S., and therefore can signify a favorable inflationary outlook, and vice versa.

The Unit Labor Costs report measures the costs related to producing each unit of output. A positive number can be a harbinger of rising inflation, and vice versa.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report (PDF.)


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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for November, 2006

Earlier today, the outplacement company Challenger released their report on corporate layoffs for November, 2006:

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during November, 2006: 76,733

When the corporate layoff numbers are high, consumer spending may decline, since there are less people with steady jobs.

When corporate layoffs are low, this can mean that the job market is relatively tight, which can be a harbinger of wage inflation.


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Monday, December 04, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today As Crude Oil Prices Waned

All 3 major indexes advanced today, as the price on a barrel of crude oil for future delivery retreated into the $62 range. 1,401,970,660 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,283.85 (+89.72)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,448.39 (+35.18)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,409.12 (+12.41)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.61/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $645.00/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7506 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3322 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.433%


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, December 01, 2006

All 3 Majors Retreated Today, and for The Week

All 3 major indices retreated today, as investors got bearish in response to an ISM manufacturing index that fell below the 50% mark for the first time in years: a reliable indication that U.S. manufacturing is on the wane. All 3 majors retreated on the week as well. 1,720,780,590 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 86.04 points (-0.706%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 47.05 points (-1.95%), and the S + P 500 Index lost 4.24 points (-0.304%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets:

----------------------------------------------------------

DJIA: Closed @ 12,194.13 (-27.80)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,413.21 (-18.56)

S + P 500: Closed @ 1,396.71 (-3.92)

----------------------------------------------------------

WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.28/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $645.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7509 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3318 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.425%


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U.S. Motor Vehicle Sales Report for November, 2006

The Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales report for November, 2006 was released this afternoon:

Predicted: 12,500,000
Actual: 11,800,000

The above figures represent unit sales of American-made cars, minivans, SUV's and light trucks. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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ISM Manufacturing Index for November, 2006

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI):

Predicted: 52.2%
Actual: 49.5%

Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country that are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for 12% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The PMI is a reliable barometer of U.S. manufacturing: when the PMI is above 50%, U.S. manufacturing is expanding; when it's below 50%, the manufacturing sector is contracting.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Last month, the PMI was 51.2.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

Labels: , , ,


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Construction Spending during October, 2006

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for October, 2006:

Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: -0.1%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Overall construction spending is up by 0.5% when compared to the revised numbers from October, 2005.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.


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