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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for March, 2007

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis released their report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income during March, 2007:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.3%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.7%

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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Construction Spending during March, 2007

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for March, 2007:

Predicted: +0.2%
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.

Change from last year: -2.0%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

The DJIA Ends The Week with A New Record High

All 3 major indexes rose for the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finishing with a brand new record: 13,120.94. The price on New York Spot Gold eased while crude oil for future delivery cruised passed the $66 mark and the dollar continued to lose ground against the euro.

1,502,073,140 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 158.96 points (+1.226%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 30.82 points (+1.22%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 9.72 points (+0.655%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,120.94 (+15.44)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,557.21 (+2.75)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,494.07 (-0.18)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.46/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $678.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7325 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3652 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.698%

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Consumer Sentiment for April, 2007

Consumer Sentiment for April, 2007:

Actual: 87.1

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.

Last month, the Consumer Sentiment Index was 88.4.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q1, 2007

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the first quarter of 2007 were released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Predicted: +1.8%
Actual: +1.3%

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 is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy.

The "advance" estimates are based on data that are incomplete or subject to future revision. Next month, the Commerce Department will release a "preliminary" report for the above-referenced quarter, which will contain more accurate data. A "final" GDP report will be released later this year, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data on the above-referenced quarter.

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

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 21, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 21, 2007:

Predicted: 329,000
Actual: 321,000

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, April 25, 2007

New Home Sales for March, 2007

The March, 2007 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted: 890,000

Actual New Home Sales: 858,000

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Change from Last Month: +2.6%

Change from Last Year: -23.5%

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Median Price for a New Home during March: $254,000

Average Price for a New Home during March: $330,900


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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Durable Goods Orders Report for March, 2007 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for March, 2007 was released this morning:

Predicted: +2.2%
Actual: +3.4%

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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 20, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 20, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -10,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 334,500,000 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, April 24, 2007

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April, 2007

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (April, 2007) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 105.0
Actual: 104.0

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 107.2.

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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 21, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on April 21, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: -0.2%

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 down by 0.2% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2006.

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

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Existing Home Sales for March, 2007

The Existing Home Sales report for March, 2007 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 6,400,000
Actual: 6,120,000
Change from Last Month: -8.4%
Change from Last Year: -11.3%

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In March, 2007: $217,000

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In March, 2007: $263,500

The "actual" figure above represents the preliminary a sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for last 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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Friday, April 20, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced for The Week On Strong Earnings Reports

All 3 major indexes rose for the week thanks in no small part to strong earnings reports from industry giants like Google and Caterpillar. New York Spot Gold and crude oil got more expensive, while the dollar lost ground against the euro. 1,943,188,540 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 349.85 points (+2.774%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 34.45 points (+1.382%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 31.50 points (+2.168%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,961.98 (+153.35)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,526.39 (+21.04)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,484.35 (+13.62)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.11/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $691.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7359 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3589 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.672%

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leading Economic Indicators for March, 2007

The Conference Board report on the nation's Leading Economic Indicators for March, 2007 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.2%
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 10-year Treasury Notes and the Fed Funds

  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 April 14, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 14, 2007:

Predicted: 320,000
Actual: 339,000

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, April 18, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 13, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 13, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -12,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 332,400,000 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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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Industrial Production for March, 2007

The Industrial Production numbers for March, 2007 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: -0.2%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 81.9%
Actual: 81.4%


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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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 14, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on April 14, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.2%

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 0.2% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2006.

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

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Housing Starts in March, 2007

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for March, 2007:

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,490,000
Actual: 1,518,000
From Last Month: +0.8%
From One Year Ago: -23.0%

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,544,000
From Last Month: +0.8%
From One Year Ago: -25.9%


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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March, 2007

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March, 2007:

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.6%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

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 March, 2007: 205.352 (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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Monday, April 16, 2007

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for March, 2007

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for March, 2007:

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.7%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.9%
Actual : +0.8%


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 March, 2006: +3.8%.

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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Friday, April 13, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced On The Week

All 3 major indices advanced for the week despite a decreased likelihood that the Fed will lower short-term interest rates later this year. Crude oil prices eased, the dollar weakened against the euro and New York Spot Gold got more expensive. 1,416,371,880 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 51.93 points (+0.413%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 20.60 points (+0.834%), and the S+P 500 Index gained 9.09 points (+0.63%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,612.13 (+59.17)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,491.94 (+11.62)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,452.85 (+5.05)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.63/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $684.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7391 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.353 U.S. Dollars

The Fed Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.761%

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International Trade Balance Level for February, 2007

The International Trade Balance Level for February, 2007 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: $ -60,300,000,000
Actual: $ -58,400,000,000

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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Producer Price Index (PPI) for March, 2007

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for March, 2007 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +1.0%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.0%


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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Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 7, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 7, 2007:

Predicted: 320,000
Actual: 342,000

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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Import and Export Price Indexes for March, 2007

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on US Import and Export Price Indexes for March, 2007:

Import Prices 
Predicted: +0.9
Actual: +1.7%

===============


Export Prices
Actual:
+0.7%



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 indexes 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

The 1.7 percent rise in March was the largest increase since May 2006. The price index for petroleum increased 9.0 percent in March following a 0.6 percent rise in February, and was the largest one-month jump since April 2006. The two consecutive advances in petroleum prices followed declines in four of the previous five months. Petroleum prices increased 2.4 percent over the past year. Nonpetroleum prices increased 0.3 percent in March, following a modest 0.1 percent advance in February. The price index for nonpetroleum imports increased 2.9 percent over the past 12 months while overall import prices advanced 2.8 percent for the same period.

The March increase in nonpetroleum prices was led by a 1.3 percent advance in prices for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials. The increase in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials was driven by higher metals and natural gas prices. The price index for unfinished metals increased 2.4 percent in March and 25.3 percent over the past 12 months.

Increases in the price indexes for consumer goods and automotive vehicles also contributed to the March rise in nonpetroleum prices, advancing 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. For the year ended in March, consumer goods prices increased 1.8 percent and automotive vehicles prices rose 1.1 percent.

In contrast, capital goods prices and prices for foods, feeds, and beverages decreased in March. The price index for capital goods ticked down 0.1 percent after falling 0.2 percent in February. Foods, feeds, and beverages prices fell 0.1 percent, the first decline since June 2006. Lower vegetables prices were primarily responsible for the decrease.


Export Goods

Export prices rose 0.7 percent for the second consecutive month, as both agricultural prices and nonagricultural prices contributed to the advance. Agricultural prices increased 2.1 percent for the month and 20.2 percent over the past year. Higher corn, vegetables, meat, and wheat prices all contributed to the increase. Nonagricultural prices rose 0.6 percent for the month and 4.2 percent for the year ended in March. Overall export prices rose 5.3 percent for the March 2006-2007 period, the largest 12-month increase since September 1995.

A 1.9 percent increase in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices was the largest contributor to the rise in nonagricultural prices. The advance followed a 2.0 percent increase in February and was driven by higher prices for metals, fuels, and chemicals. Over the past 12 months, the index rose 11.0 percent.

Prices for each of the major finished goods areas recorded little movement for the second consecutive month. Automotive vehicles prices increased a modest 0.1 percent for the second consecutive month. Prices for capital goods and consumer goods were unchanged in March after both indexes fell 0.1 percent in February. For the year ended in March, consumer goods prices increased 2.4 percent, automotive vehicles prices increased 1.4 percent, and capital goods prices increased 0.8 percent."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Treasury Budget for March, 2007

The U.S. Treasury Budget monthly account for March, 2007 was released today:

Predicted: -89,000,000,000
Actual: -$96,300,000,000

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, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 6, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 6, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -12,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 333,400,000 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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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 7, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on April 7, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +4.9%

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 4.9% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2006.

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

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Friday, April 06, 2007

All 3 Majors Gained For The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced for the 4-day week. 1,247,878,760 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 205.85 points (+1.666%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 49.70 points (+2.052%), and the S and P 500 Index added 22.90 points (+1.612%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets (Thursday, April 5, 2007 Close):

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,560.20 (+30.15)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,471.34 (+12.65)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,443.76 (+4.39)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.28/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $673.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7475 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3378 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.674%

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Consumer Credit Status Report for February, 2007 Released Today

The Consumer Credit status report for February, 2007 was released by the Fed earlier this afternoon:

Actual: +$3,000,000,000

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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The New York Stock Exchange & The NASDAQ Stock Market Are Closed Today

The New York Stock Exchange® and the NASDAQ Stock Market® are closed today for the Good Friday holiday.

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Employment Situation Report for March, 2007

The Employment Situation report for March, 2007 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: +0.3%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +135K
Actual: +180K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.9 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 4.6%
Actual: 4.4%

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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Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 31, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on March 31, 2007:

Predicted: 317,000
Actual: 321,000

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, April 04, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 30, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on March 30, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +4,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -10,100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 332,700,000 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.

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U.S. Factory Orders Report for February, 2007

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for February, 2007:

Predicted: +1.7%
Actual: +1.0%

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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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for March, 2007

Earlier today, the outplacement company Challenger released their report on corporate layoffs for March, 2007:

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during March, 2007: 48,997

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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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

U.S. Motor Vehicle Sales Report for March, 2007

The Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales report for March, 2007 was released this afternoon:

Predicted: 12,700,000
Actual: 12,200,000

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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Redbook Numbers for The Week of March 31, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on March 31, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +4.7%

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 4.7% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in March of 2006.

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

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Monday, April 02, 2007

ISM Manufacturing Index for March, 2007

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for March, 2007:

Predicted: 51.5%
Actual: 50.9%

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 52.3.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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