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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 26, 2008

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on January 26, 2008:

Predicted: 318,000
Actual: 375,000

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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Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for December, 2007

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

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

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.5%

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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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 25, 2007

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

Weekly Change: +3,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -31,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 293,000,000 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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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q4, 2007

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

Predicted: +1.2%
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 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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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Redbook Numbers for The Week of January 26, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on January 26, 2007 were released this morning:

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.4%

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 0.4% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2007.

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

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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for January, 2008

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (January, 2008) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 87.5
Actual: 87.9
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 88.6.

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Durable Goods Orders Report for December, 2007 Released Today

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

Predicted: +1.6%
Actual: +5.2%

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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Monday, January 28, 2008

New Home Sales for December, 2007

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

Predicted: 645,000

Actual New Home Sales: 604,000

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Change from One Month Ago: -4.7%

Change from One Year Ago: -40.7%

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Median Price for a New Home during December: $219,200

Average Price for a New Home during December: $267,300


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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Friday, January 25, 2008

The DJIA and S&P 500 Advanced On The Week

All 3 major indexes declined today, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S and P 500 managed to advance on the 4-day trading week. Before trading began on Tuesday, the Fed cut short-term rates by 75 basis points, prompted by sharp declines in Asian and European markets. Compared to last week, the price of crude oil for future delivery moved sideways, but New York Spot Gold surged past the $900 per ounce mark.

For the week, the DJIA gained 107.87 points (+0.892%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 13.82 points (-0.591%), and the S and P 500 Index advanced by 5.42 points (+0.409%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,207.17 (-171.44)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,326.20 (-34.72)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,330.61 (-21.46)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $90.71/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $910.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6811 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4682 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 3.50%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.584%

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 18, 2008

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on January 18, 2008 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -32,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 289,400,000 Barrels

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

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

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

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

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

Predicted: 321,000
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.

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Existing Home Sales for December, 2007

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

Predicted: 4,950,000
Actual: 4,890,000
Change from Last Month: -2.2%
Change from Last Year: -22.0%

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 December 2007: $208,400
Change from Last Year: -6.0%

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In December, 2007: $254,900
Change from Last Year: -4.9%

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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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Redbook Numbers for The Week of January 19, 2007

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

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.7%

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 0.7% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2007.

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

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Monday, January 21, 2008

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 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The New York markets and exchanges will all be open tomorrow.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

All 3 Majors Lost Over 4% On The Week

Each of the 3 major indexes lost over 4% on the week, despite a rise in consumer sentiment and the announcement of a $145 billion tax relief-oriented economic stimulus package. The price on both crude oil for future delivery and New York Spot Gold eased.

For the week, the DJIA lost 507.0 points (-4.022%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 99.92 points (-4.095%), and the S and P 500 Index fell by 75.83 points (-5.412%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,099.30 (-59.91)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,340.02 (-6.88)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,325.19 (-8.06)

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WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $90.57/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $880.50/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6839 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4622 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.648%

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Leading Economic Indicators for December, 2007

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

Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

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 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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Consumer Sentiment for January, 2008

Consumer Sentiment for this month (January, 2008):

Predicted: 74.7
Actual: 80.5

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 75.5.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 12, 2007

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

Predicted: 335,000
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.

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Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for January, 2008

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (January):

Predicted: -1.3
Actual: -20.9

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 -5.7.

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

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Housing Starts During December, 2007

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,140,000
Actual: 1,006,000
From Last Month: -14.2%
From One Year Ago: -38.2%

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,068,000
From Last Month: -8.1%
From One Year Ago: -34.4%


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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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 11, 2007

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

Weekly Change: +4,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -34,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 287,100,000 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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

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

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The CPI figure for December, 2007: 210.036 (not seasonally adjusted)

Change from a year ago: +4.0813%

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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Industrial Production for December, 2007

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

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

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 81.2%
Actual: 81.4%


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

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

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

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

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

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

Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: -0.4%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: -0.1%
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: +4.1%.

  • Retail Sales, comparing all of 2006 to all of 2007: +4.2%.

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 December, 2007

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.1%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%


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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Redbook Numbers for The Week of January 12, 2007

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

Redbook Sales Figures: +0.9%

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 0.9% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2007.

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

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Friday, January 11, 2008

All 3 Majors Declined On The Day and The Week

News that Bank of America has agreed to buy troubled home-loan giant Countrywide Financial wasn't enough to help the major indexes this week, as all 3 majors declined on both the day and the week. Though crude oil prices eased, New York Spot Gold surged closer to the $900 per ounce mark.

For the week, the DJIA declined by 193.88 points (-1.515%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 64.71 points (-2.584%), and the S and P 500 Index lost 10.61 points (-0.752%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,606.30 (-246.79)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,439.94 (-48.58)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,401.02 (-19.31)

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NYMEX WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $92.69/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $894.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6768 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4776 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.81%

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International Trade Balance Level for November, 2007

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

Predicted: $ -58,600,000,000
Actual: $ -63,100,000,000

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

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

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

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Treasury Budget for December, 2007

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

Actual: $48,300,000,000

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

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

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

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.0
Actual: +0.0%

Export Prices

Actual:
+0.4%

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

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

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

Together, these 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, January 10, 2008

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

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

Predicted: 340,000
Actual: 322,000

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, January 09, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 4, 2007

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

Weekly Change: -6,800,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -31,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 282,800,000 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, January 08, 2008

Redbook Numbers for The Week of January 5, 2007

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

Redbook Sales Figures: +1.0%

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 1.0% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2007.

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

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Friday, January 04, 2008

All 3 Majors Declined On The Day and The Week On Weak Jobs & Manufacturing Reports

All 3 majors lost more than 4% on the week as investors reacted bearishly to news that the jobless rate rose to 5% last month, and data that suggests U.S. manufacturing is contracting. New York Spot Gold and crude oil prices surged.

1,648,595,190 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA declined by 565.69 points (-4.232%), the NASDAQ Composite Index gave up 169.81 points (-6.349%), and the S and P 500 Index fell by 66.86 points (-4.522%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,800.18 (-256.54)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,504.65 (-98.03)

S and P 500: Closed @ 1,411.63 (-35.53)

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NYMEX WTI Crude Oil Future closed @ $97.91/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $863.00/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6783 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.4744 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 4.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.854%

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Employment Situation Report for December, 2007

The Employment Situation report for December, 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: +0.397%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +70K
Actual: +18K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.8 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 4.8%
Actual: 5.0%

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, January 03, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 28, 2007

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 28, 2007 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -30,100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 289,600,000 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 November, 2007

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

Predicted: 0.5%
Actual: +1.5%

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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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for December, 2007

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

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during December, 2007: 44,416

If corporate layoffs are high, consumer spending may decline, since there would be fewer 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 29, 2007

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 29, 2007:

Predicted: 345,000
Actual: 336,000

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. Motor Vehicle Sales Report for December, 2007

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

Predicted: 12,300,000
Actual: 12,100,000

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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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Construction Spending during November, 2007

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

Predicted: -0.3%
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 one year ago: -0.1%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Redbook Numbers for The Week of December 29, 2007

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on December 29, 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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ISM Manufacturing Index for December, 2007

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

Predicted: 50.9%
Actual: 47.7%

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 50.8.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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