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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, November 28, 2008

All 3 Majors Gained More Than 9% On The Week

All 3 major indexes advanced on the day and all 3 gained more than 9% on the week.

For the week, the DJIA gained 782.62 points (+9.726%), the NASDAQ Composite Index added 151.22 points (+10.924%), and the S and P 500 Index advanced by 96.21 points (+12.026%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 8,829.04 (+102.43)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,535.57 (+3.47)

S and P 500: Closed @ 896.24 (+8.56)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $54.43/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $816.30/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.788 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.269 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 1.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 2.957%

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 21, 2008

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 21, 2008 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +7,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +7,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 320,800,000 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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Durable Goods Orders Report for October 2008 Released Today

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

Predicted: -2.6%
Actual: -6.2%

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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Consumer Sentiment for November 2008

The Consumer Sentiment figure for this month (November 2008):

Predicted: 57.9
Actual: 55.3

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 57.6.

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Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for October 2008

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis released their report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income during October 2008:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: -0.9%
Actual: -1.0%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3%

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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New Home Sales for October 2008

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

Predicted: 450,000

Actual New Home Sales: 433,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -5.3%

Change from One Year Previous: -40.1%

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Median Price for a New Home during October: $218,000

Average Price for a New Home during October: $272,300

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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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for November 2008

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

Predicted: 38.0
Actual: 44.9

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 38.8 (revised)

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Preliminary" Released Today for Q3 2008

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

Predicted: -0.5%
Actual: -0.5%

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

The final GDP report for Q3, 2008, which will contain the most authoritative data for the third quarter, will be released on December 23, 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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Monday, November 24, 2008

Existing Home Sales for October 2008

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

Predicted: 5,000,000
Actual: 4,980,000
Change from One Month Previous: -3.1%
Change from One Year Previous: -1.6%

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 October 2008: $183,300
Change from One Year Previous: -11.3%

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In October 2008: $224,700
Change from One Year Previous: -11.9%

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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Friday, November 21, 2008

All 3 Majors Lost More Than 5% On The Week

All 3 major indices enjoyed gains on the day, but all 3 declined by more than 5% on the week. President-elect Obama's likely nomination of New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner to be America's next Treasury Secretary sparked a near-market-close rally in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surged by more than 500 points. Crude oil for future delivery ended the week at $49.93 per barrel in New York.

For the week, the DJIA lost 450.89 points (-5.306%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 132.50 points (-8.735%), and the S and P 500 Index shed 73.26 points (-8.389%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 8,046.42 (+494.13)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,384.35 (+68.23)

S and P 500: Closed @ 800.03 (+47.59)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $49.93/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $801.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7943 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.2589 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 1.00%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.167%

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Leading Economic Indicators for October 2008

The Conference Board report on the nation's Leading Economic Indicators for October 2008 was released this morning:

Predicted: -0.6%
Actual: -0.8%

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 & Poor's 500 Index
  3. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 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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Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for November 2008

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

Predicted: -35.0
Actual: -39.3

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 -37.5

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

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 15, 2008

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on November 15 2008:

Predicted: 505,000
Actual: 542,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 14, 2008

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 14, 2008 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: 1,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 313,500,000 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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Housing Starts During October 2008

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 780,000
Actual: 791,000
Change From Previous Month: -4.5%
Change From One Year Previous: -38.0%

Building Permits:
Actual: 708,000
Change From Previous Month:: -12.0%
Change From One Year Previous: -40.1%


The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in The United States for last month. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States, or about the American construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. The monthly Housing Starts report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise--and vice versa.

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

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October 2008

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

Predicted: -0.7%
Actual: -1.0%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.1%

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 October 2008: 216.573 (not seasonally adjusted)

Change from 10/2007 through 10/2008: +3.7%

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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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Producer Price Index (PPI) for October 2008

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

Predicted: -1.7%
Actual: -2.8%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
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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Monday, November 17, 2008

Industrial Production for October 2008

The Industrial Production numbers for October 2008 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +1.3%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 76.4%
Actual: 76.4%


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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Friday, November 14, 2008

All 3 Majors Lost More Than 4.99% On The Week

All 3 major indexes lost ground on both the day and the week. Investors reacted bearishly to a relatively sharp decline in retail sales last month, and to news of last week's 516,000 new claims for jobless benefits. Crude oil for future delivery finished the week at $57.04 per barrel in New York on expectations of a protracted global recession.

For the week, the DJIA shed 446.50 points (-4.992%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 130.55 points (-7.925%), and the S and P 500 Index lost 57.70 points (-6.198%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 8,497.31 (-337.94)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,516.85 (-79.85)

S and P 500: Closed @ 873.29 (-38.00)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $57.04/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $742.30/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7933 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.2606 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 1.00%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.75%

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Import and Export Price Indexes for October 2008

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

Import Prices
Predicted: -4.0%
Actual: -4.7%

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Export Prices
Actual:
-1.9%


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

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

Predicted: -2.4%
Actual: -2.8%

Minus Auto and Auto Parts Sales
Predicted: -1.6%
Actual : -2.2%


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: -4.1%

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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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 7, 2008

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 7, 2008 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: 0 Barrels

Yearly Change: -2,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 311,900,000 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 8, 2008

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on November 8, 2008:

Predicted: 482,000
Actual: 516,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

All 3 Majors Surged On The Day But Lost More Than 3% On The Week

All 3 major indices added points on the day, but all 3 lost more than 3% on the week. On November 4TH, Americans decided to give the Democrats control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives effective January 20, 2009 at noon.

For the week, the DJIA lost 381.20 points (-4.088%), the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 73.55 points (-4.274%), and the S and P 500 Index gave up 37.76 points (-3.898%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 8,943.81 (+248.02)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,647.40 (+38.70)

S and P 500: Closed @ 930.99 (+26.11)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $61.04/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $733.90/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7863 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.2718 U.S. Dollars

The Federal Funds Target Rate is 1.00%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 3.78%

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Employment Situation Report for October 2008

The Employment Situation report for October 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: +0.2%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: -200K
Actual: -240K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.6 hrs
Actual: 33.6 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 6.3%
Actual: 6.5%

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money, b) unemployment is low and c) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

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

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 1, 2008

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on November 1, 2008:

Predicted: 480,000
Actual: 481,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for October 2008

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

U.S. Corporate Job Cuts Announced during October 2008: 112,884

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, November 04, 2008

U.S. Factory Orders Report for September 2008

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

Predicted: -0.7%
Actual: -2.5%

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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Monday, November 03, 2008

Construction Spending during September 2008

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

Predicted: -0.8%
Actual: -0.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Change from one year previous: -6.6%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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ISM Manufacturing Index for October 2008

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

Predicted: 41.5%
Actual: 38.9%

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: A PMI above 50% implies that U.S. manufacturing expanded during the month in question; when it's below 50%, it implies that the manufacturing sector contracted.

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 43.5%

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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