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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Monday, December 31, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced On The Year

All 3 major indexes added value on the year, with substantial price gains for crude oil and gold.

1,147,028,300 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the year, the DJIA gained 801.67 points (+6.432%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 236.99 points (+9.812%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 50.06 points (+3.53%).

For the year:

  • Crude oil for future delivery advanced by $34.93 (+57.215%)
  • New York Spot Gold advanced by $197.30 (+31.022%)
  • Click here to see how each of the 30 DJIA stocks performed this year.
  • Click here for the best and worst performing stocks in the S and P 500 Index.

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,264.82 (-101.05)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,652.28 (-22.18)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,468.36 (-10.13)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $95.98/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $833.30/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6836 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4629 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.035%

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Existing Home Sales for November, 2007

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

Predicted: 4,970,000
Actual: 5,000,000
Change from Last Month: +0.4%
Change from Last Year: -20.0%

The "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annual 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.

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In November 2007: $210,200
Change from Last Year: -3.3%

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In November, 2007: $256,800
Change from Last Year: -3.1%

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, December 28, 2007

All 3 Majors Declined On The Week

All 3 majors lost value on a week capped by a discouraging report on new home sales. Gold and crude oil prices surged, while the dollar lost ground against the euro.

1,036,029,950 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 84.78 points (-0.63%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 17.53 points (-0.651%), and the S and P 500 Index fell by 5.97 points (-0.402%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,365.87 (+6.26)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,674.46 (-2.33)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,478.49 (+2.12)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $96.00/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $838.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6792 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4724 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.096%

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New Home Sales for November, 2007

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

Predicted: 720,000

Actual New Home Sales: 647,000

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Change from One Month Ago: -9.0%

Change from One Year Ago: -34.4%

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Median Price for a New Home during November: $239,100

Average Price for a New Home during November: $293,300


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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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 21, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 21, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -3,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -27,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 293,600,000 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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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December, 2007

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

Predicted: 86.5
Actual: 88.6

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 87.3.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 22, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 22, 2007:

Predicted: 343,000
Actual: 349,000

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.

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Durable Goods Orders Report for November, 2007 Released Today

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

Predicted: +3.0%
Actual: +0.1%

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, airplanes, 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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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 22, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 22, 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 December of 2006.

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

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Friday, December 21, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced On The Day and The Week

All 3 majors advanced on both the day and the week, as investors responded bullishly to news that the Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into financial markets via its Term Auction Facility (TAF). Investors were further encouraged by news of robust consumer spending during November.

2,339,851,160 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today (quadruple witching.)

For the week, the DJIA gained 110.80 points (+0.831%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 56.25 points (+2.134%), and the S and P 500 Index added 16.51 points (+1.125%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,450.65 (+205.01)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,691.99 (+51.13)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,484.46 (+24.34)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $93.31/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $811.70/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6954 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.438 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.168%

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Consumer Sentiment for December, 2007

Consumer Sentiment for December, 2007:

Predicted: 74.5
Actual: 75.5

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 76.1.

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Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for November, 2007

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +1.1%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.5%
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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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for December, 2007

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for December:

Predicted: +6.2
Actual: -5.7

The "actual" figure above is an index of current manufacturing conditions within the Federal Reserve's Third District, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, all of Delaware and the southern half of New Jersey. Any figure below zero implies that manufacturing in the region is contracting, 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 Philadelphia Fed report.

Last month, the actual figure was +8.2.

For a national perspective of manufacturing conditions, check out the Institute of Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI).

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Leading Economic Indicators for November, 2007

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

Predicted: -0.3%
Actual: -0.4%

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 Ten-Year Treasury Note and 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 December 15, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 15, 2007:

Predicted: 335,000
Actual: 346,000

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.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Final" Released Today for Q3, 2007

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

Predicted: +4.9%
Actual: +4.9%

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

Today's final GDP report contains the most authoritative data for Q3, 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, December 19, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 14, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 14, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -7,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -32,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 296,900,000 Barrels

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

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

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

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 15, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 15, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +1.3%

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 1.3% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2006.

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

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Housing Starts During November, 2007

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,180,000
Actual: 1,187,000
From Last Month: -3.7%
From One Year Ago: -24.2%

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,152,000
From Last Month: -1.5%
From One Year Ago: -24.6%


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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Friday, December 14, 2007

All 3 Majors Declined On The Week Despite Fed Rate Cut

Each of the 3 major indexes lost more than 2% on the week despite Tuesday's rate cut by the Fed. Though a 25 basis point cut was expected and delivered, investors nevertheless were disappointed with the Fed's latest monetary policy moves.

1,305,531,170 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 285.73 points (-2.142%), the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 70.42 points (-2.602%), and the S+P 500 Index lost 36.71 points (-2.44%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,339.85 (-178.11)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,635.74 (-32.75)

S+P 500: Closed @ 1,467.95 (-20.46)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $91.27/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $793.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.693 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.443 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.232%

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Industrial Production for November, 2007

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3%

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


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

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

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

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +0.8%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

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 November, 2007: 210.177

Change from a year ago: +4.3%

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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Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 8, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 8, 2007:

Predicted: 337,000
Actual: 333,000

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.

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

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

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +1.2%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.7%
Actual : +1.8%


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.

Change since last year: +6.3%.

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 November, 2007

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

Predicted: +1.6%
Actual: +3.2%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.4%


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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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 7, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 7, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -30,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 304,500,000 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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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 8, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 8, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +1.6%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores -- about 9,000 stores in total -- and is therefore an important measure of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up by 1.6% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2006.

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

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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for November, 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 November, 2007 :

Import Prices
Predicted: +2.0
Actual: +2.7%

Export Prices

Actual:
+0.9%

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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Treasury Budget for November, 2007

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

Actual: -$98,200,000,000

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 October, 2007

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

Predicted: $ -57,000,000,000
Actual: $ -57,800,000,000

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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Friday, December 07, 2007

All 3 Majors Advanced On The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced on the week; a rate cut by the Fed is fully expected for December 11.

1,205,121,990 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA added 253.86 points (+1.898%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 45.20 points (+1.699%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 23.52 points (+1.588%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 13,625.58 (+5.69)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,706.16 (-2.87)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,504.66 (-2.68)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $88.28/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $794.40/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6822 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4658 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.50%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.12%

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Employment Situation Report for November, 2007

The Employment Situation report for November, 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: +0.454%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +65K
Actual: +94K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.8 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 4.8%
Actual: 4.7%

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, December 06, 2007

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 1, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 1, 2007:

Predicted: 335,000
Actual: 338,000

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.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 30, 2007

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

Weekly Change: -8,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -34,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 305,200,000 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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Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q3, 2007 Released Today (Revised)

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

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: +5.7%
Actual: +6.3%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: -1.1%
Actual: -2.0%

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

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

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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for November, 2007

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

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during November, 2007: 73,140

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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U.S. Factory Orders Report for October, 2007

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

Predicted: 0.0%
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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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 1, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 1, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +2.2%

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 2.2% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in December of 2006.

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

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Monday, December 03, 2007

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

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

Predicted: 12,100,000
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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ISM Manufacturing Index for November, 2007

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

Predicted: 50.4%
Actual: 50.8%

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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