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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of July 28, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on July 28, 2007 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 July of 2006.

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

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Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for June, 2007

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.4%

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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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July, 2007

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

Predicted: 105.0
Actual: 112.6

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 103.9.

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Construction Spending during June, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.3%

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 one year ago: -2.4%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Each of The 3 Major Indexes Lost Over 4% This Week

All 3 major indices lost over 4% this week, as investors got anxious about the state of the market for large corporate loans and news that the market for new and used homes hasn't improved. Crude oil for future delivery ended the week at $77.02 per barrel. The yield on the ten-year treasury note fell to 4.788% while the dollar gained some ground against the euro.

2,010,098,840 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 585.61 points, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 125.36 points, and the S and P 500 Index lost 75.15 points.

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,265.47 (-208.10)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,562.24 (-37.10)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,458.95 (-23.71)

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WTI NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $77.02/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $659.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7335 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3634 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.788%

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Consumer Sentiment for July, 2007

Consumer Sentiment for July, 2007:

Predicted: 91.0
Actual: 90.4

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 85.3.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q2, 2007

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

Predicted: +3.2%
Actual: +3.4%

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, July 26, 2007

New Home Sales for June, 2007

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

Predicted: 890,000

Actual New Home Sales: 834,000

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Change from Last Month: -6.6%

Change from Last Year: -22.3%

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Median Price for a New Home during June: $237,900

Average Price for a New Home during June: $316,200


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 June, 2007 Released Today

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

Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +1.4%

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

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

Predicted: 312,000
Actual: 301,000

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, July 25, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 20, 2007

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

Weekly Change: -1,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +15,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 351,000,000 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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Existing Home Sales for June, 2007

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

Predicted: 5,870,000
Actual: 5,750,000
Change from Last Month: -3.8%
Change from Last Year: -11.4%

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In June, 2007: $230,100

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In June, 2007: $276,700

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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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of July 21, 2007

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

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.8%

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 2.8% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in July of 2006.

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

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Dow + S&P 500 Closed with Record Highs on Thursday, but All 3 Majors Closed Lower On The Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 both set record-high closing values this week, but all 3 major indexes declined for the five-day period. The DJIA closed above the 14,000 mark for the first time on Thursday. Crude oil for future delivery ended the week at $75.79 per barrel. The yield on the ten-year treasury note fell to 4.956% while the dollar continued to lose ground against the euro.

1,995,447,040 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 56.17 points, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 19.40 points, and the S and P 500 Index lost 18.40 points.

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,851.08 (-149.33)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,687.60 (-32.44)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,534.10 (-18.98)

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NYMEX WTI Crude Oil for Future Delivery is currently @ $75.79/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $683.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7229 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3834 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.956%

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Leading Economic Indicators for June, 2007

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

Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.3%

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 the 10-year Treasury Note 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 July 14, 2007

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

Predicted: 310,000
Actual: 301,000

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, July 18, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 13, 2007

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

Weekly Change: -500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +16,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 352,100,000 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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Housing Starts During June, 2007

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,450,000
Actual: 1,467,000
From Last Month: +2.3%
From One Year Ago: -19.4%

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,406,000
From Last Month: -7.5%
From One Year Ago: -25.2%


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 June, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%

Below is the CPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation, also known as the "core CPI":

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.

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The CPI figure for June, 2007: 208.352 (not seasonally-adjusted.)

Change from a year ago: +2.7%

The baseline 100 score is pegged to 1982-1984 data. In other words, consumer prices have more than doubled since the early 80's.

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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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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of July 14, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on July 14, 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 July of 2006.

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

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Industrial Production for June, 2007

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.5%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 81.5%
Actual: 81.7%


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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Producer Price Index (PPI) for June, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

Below is the PPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation, also known as the "core PPI":

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%


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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Friday, July 13, 2007

All 3 Majors Added Points On The Week

All 3 major indexes added points this week despite crude oil for future delivery ending the week at $73.93 per barrel. The yield on the ten-year treasury note eased to 5.107% while the dollar continued to lose ground against the euro.

1,345,349,480 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 295.57 points (+2.171%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 40.49 points (+1.518%), and the S and P 500 Index added 22.06 points (+1.441%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,907.25 (+45.52)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,707.00 (+5.27)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,552.50 (+4.80)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for future delivery is currently @ $73.93/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $666.00/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7255 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3783 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 5.107%

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

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

Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: -0.9%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual : -0.4%


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.

Change since last year: +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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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June, 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 June, 2007 :

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.6
Actual: +1.0%

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.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Treasury Budget for June, 2007

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

Predicted: -30,000,000,000
Actual: -$27,500,000,000

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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International Trade Balance Level for May, 2007

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

Predicted: $ -60,000,000,000
Actual: $ -60,000,000,000

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

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

Predicted: 315,000
Actual: 308,000

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, July 11, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 6, 2007

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

Weekly Change: -1,400,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +17,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 352,600,000 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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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of July 7, 2007

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

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.8%

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 0.8% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in July of 2006.

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

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Consumer Credit Status Report for May, 2007 Released Today

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

Actual: +$12,900,000,000 (+6.5%)

The above figures represent the seasonally adjusted, 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, July 06, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced On The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced on the 4-day trading week, despite crude oil for future delivery finishing at $72.81 per barrel. The yield on the ten-year treasury note ended the week at 5.195% while the dollar weakened against the euro.

1,250,853,020 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 203.06 points (+1.514%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 63.28 points (+2.431%), and the S and P 500 Index added 27.09 points (+1.802%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,611.68 (+45.84)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,666.51 (+9.86)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,530.44 (+5.04)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.81/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $652.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7338 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3628 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 5.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 5.195%

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Employment Situation Report for June, 2007

The Employment Situation report for June, 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: +125K
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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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 29, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 29, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +3,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +12,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 354,000,000 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 30, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on June 30, 2007:

Predicted: 315,000
Actual: 318,000

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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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for June, 2007

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

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during June, 2007: 55,726

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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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

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 Independence Day holiday.

All New York exchanges will reopen tomorrow.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

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

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

Predicted: 12,400,000
Actual: 11,600,000

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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U.S. Factory Orders Report for May, 2007

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

Predicted: -1.2%
Actual: -0.5%

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 June 30, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on June 30, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +1.2%

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 1.2% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in June of 2006.

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

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Monday, July 02, 2007

ISM Manufacturing Index for June, 2007

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

Predicted: 55.0%
Actual: 56.0%

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 55.0.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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