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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, June 27, 2008

All 3 Majors Lost More Than 3% on The Week

Each of the 3 major indexes lost ground on both the day and the week as crude oil for future delivery closed above the $140 per barrel mark. On Wednesday, the Fed opted to leave short-term interest rates at their current level. The dollar declined against the euro while New York Spot Gold closed at $926.80 per ounce.

For the week, the DJIA lost 496.18 points (-4.19%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 90.46 points (-3.76%), and the S&P 500 Index fell by 39.55 points (-3.001%).


Since closing with record highs on October 9, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has now lost 2,818.02 points (19.895%), while the broader S&P 500 Index has given up 286.77 points (18.322%.)

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 11,346.51 (-106.91)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,315.63 (-5.74)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,278.38 (-4.77)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $140.21/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $926.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6337 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.5782 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 2.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.99%

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Final" Released Today for Q1, 2008

The final, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the first quarter of 2008 was released this morning:

Predicted: +1.0%
Actual: +1.0%

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 Q1, 2008.

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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Existing Home Sales for May 2008

The Existing Home Sales report for May 2008 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 5,000,000
Actual: 4,990,000
Change from One Month Previous: +2.0%
Change from One Year Previous: -15.9%

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 May 2008: $208,600
Change from Last Year: -6.3%

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In May 2008: $253,100
Change from Last Year: -6.5%

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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, June 25, 2008

New Home Sales for May 2008

The May 2008 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted: 515,000

Actual New Home Sales: 512,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -2.5%

Change from One Year Previous: -40.3%

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Median Price for a New Home during May: $231,000

Average Price for a New Home during May: $311,300

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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 May 2008 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for May 2008 was released this morning:

Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: 0.0%

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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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for June 2008

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

Predicted: 56.5
Actual: 50.4

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 57.2.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

All 3 Majors Declined On The Day and The Week

All 3 major indexes lost ground on both the day and the week as crude oil continued to trade above the $130 per barrel mark. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed below the 12,000 mark earlier today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 464.66 points (-3.775%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 48.41 points (-1.972%), and the S&P 500 Index fell by 42.10 points (-3.096%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 11,842.69 (-220.40)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,406.09 (-55.97)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,317.93 (-24.90)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $135.36/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $901.30/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6408 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.5606 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 2.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.137%

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Producer Price Index (PPI) for May 2008

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for May 2008 was released this morning:

Predicted: +1.0%
Actual: +1.4%

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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Housing Starts During May 2008

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for May 2008:

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 985,000
Actual: 975,000
From Last Month: -3.3%
From One Year Ago: -32.1%

Building Permits:
Actual: 969,000
From Last Month: -1.3%
From One Year Ago: -36.3%


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, June 13, 2008

Only the DJIA Advanced On The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced on the day, but only the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained ground on the week. Crude oil prices eased as the dollar got stronger.

For the week, the DJIA added 97.54 points (+0.799%), the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 20.06 points (-0.811%), and the S&P 500 Index fell by 0.65 point (-0.048%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,307.35 (+165.77)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,454.50 (+50.15)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,360.03 (+20.16)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $134.86/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $870.80/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6502 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.5381 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 2.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 4.261%

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2008

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2008:

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.6%

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 May, 2008: 216.632 (not seasonally adjusted)

Change from 05/2007 through 05/2008: +4.2%

The baseline 100 score is pegged to 1982-1984 data. In other words, in general, 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, June 12, 2008

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for May 2008

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for May 2008:

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +1.0%

Minus Auto Sales
Predicted: +0.7%
Actual : +1.2%


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 from 12 months previous: +2.5%.

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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Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2008

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on US Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2008:

Import Prices 
Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +2.3%
 

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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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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 6, 2008

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 6, 2008 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -40,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 302,200,000 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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Friday, June 06, 2008

All 3 Majors Declined On The Week On $138.54 Crude Oil and A Jump In the Jobless Rate

All 3 major indices lost value on the day and the week: Investors reacted bearishly to news that the unemployment rate jumped to 5.5% last month and to crude oil for future delivery soaring passed the $138 per barrel mark in New York earlier today.

For the week, the DJIA lost 428.51 points (-3.391%), the NASDAQ Composite Index shed 48.10 points (-1.907%), and the S&P 500 Index lost 39.70 points (-2.835%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 12,209.81 (-394.64)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,474.56 (-75.38)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,360.68 (-43.37)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $138.54/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $902.20/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.6338 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.5778 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 2.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.938%

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Employment Situation Report for May 2008

The Employment Situation report for May 2008 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: -60K
Actual: -49K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.7 hrs
Actual: 33.7 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 5.1%
Actual: 5.5%

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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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q1 2008 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 first quarter of 2008 (revised data):

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: +2.5%
Actual: +2.6%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +1.9%
Actual: +2.2%

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 May 2008

Earlier today, the outplacement company Challenger released their report on corporate layoffs for May 2008:

U.S. Job Cuts Announced during May 2008: 103,522

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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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

U.S. Factory Orders Report for April 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for April 2008:

Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: +1.1%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by from U.S. manufacturers. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

ISM Manufacturing Index for May 2008

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for May 2008:

Predicted: 48.5%
Actual: 49.6%

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 48.6%

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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Construction Spending during April 2008

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for April 2008:

Predicted: -0.6%
Actual: -0.4%

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 previous: -3.9%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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