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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 25, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 25, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -2,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -3,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 342,200,000 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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Construction Spending during April, 2007

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

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.

Change from last year: -2.0%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 26, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 26, 2007:

Predicted: 310,000
Actual: 310,000

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

The preliminary, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the first quarter of 2007 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +0.6%

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 actual or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The final GDP report for Q1, 2007, which will contain the most authoritative data for the fourth quarter, will be released on June 28, 2007.

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."

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

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 26, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 26, 2007 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 May of 2006.

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

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for May, 2007

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

Predicted: 105.0
Actual: 108.0

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 104.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

All 3 Majors Declined for The Week on Dashed Hopes for A Rate Cut

All 3 major indexes declined on the week, as a strong monthly increase in new home sales lowered the possibility that the Fed will cut short-term interest rates at some point this year. Crude oil for future delivery finished the week above the $65 mark.

1,227,883,770 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 49.25 points (-0.365%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 1.26 points (-0.049%), and the S and P 500 Index lost 7.02 points (-0.463%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,507.28 (+66.15)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,557.19 (+19.27)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,515.73 (+8.22)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $65.20/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $654.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7439 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3442 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.861%

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Existing Home Sales for April, 2007

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

Predicted: 6,200,000
Actual: 5,990,000
Change from Last Month: -2.6%
Change from Last Year: -10.7%

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In April, 2007: $220,900

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In April, 2007: $268,400

The "actual" figure above represents the preliminary 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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Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Home Sales for April, 2007

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

Predicted: 860,000

Actual New Home Sales: 981,000

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Change from Last Month: +16.2%

Change from Last Year: -10.6%

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Median Price for a New Home during April: $229,100

Average Price for a New Home during April: $299,100


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 April, 2007 Released Today

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

Predicted: +1.2%
Actual: +0.6%

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 19, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 19, 2007:

Predicted: 310,000
Actual: 311,000

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, May 23, 2007

2007 Hurricane Predictions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released predictions for the 2007 Atlantic basin hurricane season:

Probability of an Above-Normal Hurricane Season: 75%

Probability of a Near-Normal Hurricane Season: 20%

Probability of a Below-Normal Hurricane Season: 5%

Predicted # of Named Storms: 13 to 17

Predicted # of Named Storms Becoming Hurricanes: 7 to 10

Predicted # of Named Storms Becoming Major Hurricanes: 3 to 5

Click here to view the full NOAA report.

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 18, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 18, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 344,200,000 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, May 22, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 19, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 19, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.0%

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 2.0% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in May of 2006.

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

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Friday, May 18, 2007

The DJIA Ends The Week with Another Record Close

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended the week with a brand new record high close: 13,556.53. The S&P 500 also advanced on the week, but the NASDAQ retreated. Crude oil for future delivery ended the week just shy of the $65 mark.

1,650,653,740 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA gained 230.31 points (+1.728%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 3.77 points (-0.147%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 16.90 points (+1.122%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,556.53 (+79.81)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,558.45 (+19.07)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,522.75 (+10.00)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.94/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $660.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7403 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3508 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.804%

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Leading Economic Indicators for April, 2007

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

Actual: -0.5%

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 May 12, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 12, 2007:

Predicted: 310,000
Actual: 293,000

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, May 16, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 11, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 11, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +1,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -4,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 342,200,000 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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Industrial Production for April, 2007

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.7%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 81.5%
Actual: 81.6%


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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Housing Starts in April, 2007

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,475,000
Actual: 1,528,000
From Last Month: +2.5%
From One Year Ago: -16.1%

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,429,000
From Last Month: -8.9%
From One Year Ago: -28.1%


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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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 12, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 12, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.7%

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 2.7% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in May of 2006.

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

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.4%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

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 April, 2007: 206.686 (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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Friday, May 11, 2007

For The Week, The S&P and DJIA Advanced, The NASDAQ Declined

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S and P 500 both advanced on the week, while the NASDAQ declined, as the Fed opted to take no action on interest rates.

1,415,652,290 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 61.60 points (+0.464%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 9.93 points (-0.388%), and the S and P 500 Index added 0.23 points (+0.015%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,326.22 (+111.09)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,562.22 (+28.48)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,505.85 (+14.38)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.37/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $670.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7394 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3524 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.67%

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

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

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: -0.2%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual : +0.0%


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 April, 2006: +3.2%.

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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Producer Price Index (PPI) for April, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +0.7%

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, May 10, 2007

Treasury Budget for April, 2007

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

Predicted: +150,000,000,000
Actual: +$177,700,000,000

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 5, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 5, 2007:

Predicted: 315,000
Actual: 297,000

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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International Trade Balance Level for March, 2007

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

Predicted: $ -60,100,000,000
Actual: $ -63,900,000,000

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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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for April, 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the price indexes for U.S. imports and exports for April, 2007 :

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.9
Actual: +1.3%

Export Prices

Actual:
+0.3%

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 2.8 percent increase in import prices over the past two months drove the index to the highest level recorded since petroleum prices peaked in August 2006. This was largely attributable to the price index for petroleum which rose a further 6.5 percent in April after an 8.1 percent gain in March and a 1.7 percent advance in February. Despite the recent increases, petroleum prices were down 1.8 percent over the past year. Nonpetroleum prices also rose in April, advancing 0.2 percent following a 0.3 percent increase in March. The nonpetroleum price index was up 2.9 percent over the past 12 months. Overall import prices rose 1.9 percent for the year ended in April.

The increase last month in nonpetroleum import prices was led by a 0.9 percent advance in the price index for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials, which followed a 1.4 percent increase in March. Higher metals prices more than offset falling prices for natural gas and chemicals. Also contributing to the rise in nonpetroleum prices was a 1.4 percent increase in foods, feeds, and beverages prices and a modest 0.1 percent advance in consumer goods prices. The increase in foods, feeds, and beverages prices was largely attributable to a 10.1 percent rise in vegetable prices.

In contrast, capital goods prices decreased for the third consecutive month, falling 0.4 percent in April. The decline was led by a 1.8 percent drop in computer prices, the largest monthly decrease for that index since a 2.2 percent drop in July 1999.

The price index for automotive vehicles was unchanged in April after recording modest 0.1 percent advances in March and February.

Export Goods

Export prices rose 0.3 percent in April following 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent increases in March and February, respectively. A 0.4 percent advance in nonagricultural prices more than offset a downturn in agricultural prices.
Prices for nonagricultural exports rose for the sixth consecutive month and advanced 3.9 percent for the year ended in April. Overall, export prices increased 4.9 percent for the same period.

The increase in nonagricultural prices was led by the continued rise in the price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, up 1.4 percent in April after advancing 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent in the two previous months. Higher prices for fuels, chemicals, and iron and steel products all contributed to the increase.

Prices for the major finished goods indexes were mixed in April. The price indexes for consumer goods and automotive vehicles increased, rising 0.5 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. In contrast, capital goods prices declined for the second consecutive month, falling 0.1 percent in April.

Agricultural prices decreased 1.3 percent in April, the largest decline since a 1.4 percent drop in September 2005. Corn prices, which had trended upward for most of 2007, led the downturn in agricultural prices, falling 14.3 percent in April. Despite the decline, corn prices were up 39.5 percent over the past year..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 4, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 4, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +5,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -5,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 341,200,000 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, May 08, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 5, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 5, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.1%

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 0.1% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in May of 2006.

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

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Consumer Credit Status Report for March, 2007 Released Today

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

Actual: +$4,000,000,000 (+6.75%)

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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Friday, May 04, 2007

The DJIA Finished The Week with A Brand New Record; The S&P 500 Climbed Back Into 1,500 Territory

All 3 major indices advanced on the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closing at a brand new record high: 13,264.62. The S and P 500 returned to 1,500 territory and the price on crude oil for future delivery fell below the $62 mark.

1,535,269,200 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 143.68 points (+1.095%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 14.94 points (+0.584%), and the S and P 500 Index added 11.55 points (+0.773%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,264.62 (+23.24)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,572.15 (+6.69)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,505.62 (+3.23)

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WTI Crude Oil Future is currently @ $61.93/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $686.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7358 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3591 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.64%

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Employment Situation Report for April, 2007

The Employment Situation report for April, 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: +0.2%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +100K
Actual: +88K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.8 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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Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 28, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 28, 2007:

Predicted: 320,000
Actual: 305,000

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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Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q1, 2007 Released Today (Preliminary)

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the first quarter of 2007 (preliminary data):

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 1.7%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +3.9%
Actual: +0.6%

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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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 27, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 27, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +1,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -11,100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 335,600,000 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 March, 2007

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

Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +3.1%

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 April, 2007

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

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during April, 2007: 70,672

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, May 01, 2007

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

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

Predicted: 12,300,000
Actual: 12,400,000

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 April 28, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on April 28, 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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ISM Manufacturing Index for April, 2007

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

Predicted: 51.0%
Actual: 54.7%

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 50.9.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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