Friday, December 4, 2009

Market wrap - 4:15

Market ramped up on the opening bell due to extraordinary employment report (the one seemingly nobody believes)to sell off during the day. The dollar was strong all day and Gold just got bitchslapped. Dow 10,388 22 0.21% Nasdaq 2,194 21 0.98% S&P 500 1,106 6 0.54% GlobalDow 1,975 -8 -0.38% Gold 1,169 -49 -4.05% Oil 75.60 -0.99 -1.29%

Employment report - 8:30

Wow! Full report here

november_employment -

Pre-market - 8:00

Futures up a little waiting on the employment report. DJIA INDEX 10,372.00 20.00 S&P 500 1,099.90 1.90 NASDAQ 100 1,782.00 1.75 Today's economic reports: Employment Situation 8:30 AM ET Charles Plosser Speaks 10:00 AM ET Factory Orders 10:00 AM ET James Bullard Speaks 1:15 PM ET Treasury STRIPS 3:00 PM ET Today's earnings reports: Before open: BIG Big Lots Inc. Services Discount, Variety Stores RY Royal Bank of Canada Financial Money Center Banks SIRO Sirona Dental Systems Inc. Healthcare Medical Appliances & Equipment After close: FMCN Focus Media Holding Ltd. Services Advertising Agencies

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Market wrap - 4:30

Pretty uneventful day until the last hour when the market decided to sell off. Not sure why, rising dollar, Bernanke testimony, or tomorrows employment report. But something spooked it. Dow 10,366 -87 -0.83% Nasdaq 2,173 -12 -0.54% S&P 500 1,100 -9 -0.84% Gold 1,218 +5 +0.43% Oil 75.99 -0.14 -0.18%

ISM Non-manufacturing - 10:00

Full report here - late, link didn't work, and this did move the market. November 2009 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) at 48.7% DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire United States, while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of November 2009. Business Activity Index at 49.6% New Orders Index at 55.1% Employment Index at 41.6% (Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in November after two consecutive months of expansion, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee; and senior vice president — supply management for Hilton Worldwide. "The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 48.7 percent in November, 1.9 percentage points lower than the 50.6 percent registered in October, indicating contraction in the non-manufacturing sector after two consecutive months of expansion. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased 5.6 percentage points to 49.6 percent, reflecting contraction after three consecutive months of growth. The New Orders Index decreased 0.5 percentage point to 55.1 percent, and the Employment Index increased 0.5 percentage point to 41.6 percent. The Prices Index increased 4.8 percentage points to 57.8 percent in November, indicating an increase in prices paid from October. According to the NMI, six non-manufacturing industries reported growth in November. Respondents' comments remain cautious about business conditions and reflect concern over the length of time for economic recovery." INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE (Based on the NMI) The six industries reporting growth in November based on the NMI composite index — listed in order — are: Other Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction; Finance & Insurance; Retail Trade; and Information. The 11 industries reporting contraction in November — listed in order — are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Public Administration; Accommodation & Food Services; Educational Services; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Utilities. WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ... * "Capital markets remain very tight; lenders are not releasing funds for development projects, limiting expansion." (Accommodation & Food Services) * "Fourth quarter still looking grim, but potential upturn for Q1 2010." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services) * "No one trusts that the recovery is real. Seems everything and everyone is in a holding pattern." (Public Administration) * "Business is still flat." (Wholesale Trade) * "U.S. business remains better than 2007 levels, although it's been through personnel and cost reductions that we are now profitable. Business continues to be about 8 percent below 2008 levels." (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing) * Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment. Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories. ** Number of months moving in current direction. COMMODITIES REPORTED UP / DOWN IN PRICE, and IN SHORT SUPPLY Commodities Up in Price Beef; Cheese (4); Diesel Fuel; #1 Diesel Fuel; #2 Diesel Fuel; Fuel (2); Gasoline; Laboratory Equipment; Masks [for TB/H1N1 use] (2); and Pharmacy Supplies. Commodities Down in Price Alloys (2); and Carbon Pipe. Commodities in Short Supply Masks [for TB/H1N1 use] (2) is the only commodity reported in short supply. Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.

Elizibeth Warren - America with no middle class - 8:50

This is a pretty good article IMHO. A must read for anyone interested in what is going on. Forget the source, just read what Ms. Warren has to say, she is one of the good ones. Full link here, which I suggest you use. There are many links to backup her claims, and charts I cannot replicate here. America Without a Middle Class Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class? If you can, would it still be America as we know it? Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street. Families have survived the ups and downs of economic booms and busts for a long time, but the fall-behind during the busts has gotten worse while the surge-ahead during the booms has stalled out. In the boom of the 1960s, for example, median family income jumped by 33% (adjusted for inflation). But the boom of the 2000s resulted in an almost-imperceptible 1.6% increase for the typical family. While Wall Street executives and others who owned lots of stock celebrated how good the recovery was for them, middle class families were left empty-handed. The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully-employed male have been flat since the 1970s. But core expenses kept going up. By the early 2000s, families were spending twice as much (adjusted for inflation) on mortgages than they did a generation ago -- for a house that was, on average, only ten percent bigger and 25 years older. They also had to pay twice as much to hang on to their health insurance. To cope, millions of families put a second parent into the workforce. But higher housing and medical costs combined with new expenses for child care, the costs of a second car to get to work and higher taxes combined to squeeze families even harder. Even with two incomes, they tightened their belts. Families today spend less than they did a generation ago on food, clothing, furniture, appliances, and other flexible purchases -- but it hasn't been enough to save them. Today's families have spent all their income, have spent all their savings, and have gone into debt to pay for college, to cover serious medical problems, and just to stay afloat a little while longer. Through it all, families never asked for a handout from anyone, especially Washington. They were left to go on their own, working harder, squeezing nickels, and taking care of themselves. But their economic boats have been taking on water for years, and now the crisis has swamped millions of middle class families. The contrast with the big banks could not be sharper. While the middle class has been caught in an economic vise, the financial industry that was supposed to serve them has prospered at their expense. Consumer banking -- selling debt to middle class families -- has been a gold mine. Boring banking has given way to creative banking, and the industry has generated tens of billions of dollars annually in fees made possible by deceptive and dangerous terms buried in the fine print of opaque, incomprehensible, and largely unregulated contracts. And when various forms of this creative banking triggered economic crisis, the banks went to Washington for a handout. All the while, top executives kept their jobs and retained their bonuses. Even though the tax dollars that supported the bailout came largely from middle class families -- from people already working hard to make ends meet -- the beneficiaries of those tax dollars are now lobbying Congress to preserve the rules that had let those huge banks feast off the middle class. Pundits talk about "populist rage" as a way to trivialize the anger and fear coursing through the middle class. But they have it wrong. Families understand with crystalline clarity that the rules they have played by are not the same rules that govern Wall Street. They understand that no American family is "too big to fail." They recognize that business models have shifted and that big banks are pulling out all the stops to squeeze families and boost revenues. They understand that their economic security is under assault and that leaving consumer debt effectively unregulated does not work. Families are ready for change. According to polls, large majorities of Americans have welcomed the Obama Administration's proposal for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). The CFPA would be answerable to consumers -- not to banks and not to Wall Street. The agency would have the power to end tricks-and-traps pricing and to start leveling the playing field so that consumers have the tools they need to compare prices and manage their money. The response of the big banks has been to swing into action against the Agency, fighting with all their lobbying might to keep business-as-usual. They are pulling out all the stops to kill the agency before it is born. And if those practices crush millions more families, who cares -- so long as the profits stay high and the bonuses keep coming. America today has plenty of rich and super-rich. But it has far more families who did all the right things, but who still have no real security. Going to college and finding a good job no longer guarantee economic safety. Paying for a child's education and setting aside enough for a decent retirement have become distant dreams. Tens of millions of once-secure middle class families now live paycheck to paycheck, watching as their debts pile up and worrying about whether a pink slip or a bad diagnosis will send them hurtling over an economic cliff. America without a strong middle class? Unthinkable, but the once-solid foundation is shaking. Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard and is currently the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

Productivity and Costs - 8:30

Full report here PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Third Quarter 2009, Revised Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at an 8.1 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today (tables A and 2). This was the largest gain in productivity since the third quarter of 2003, and reflects a 2.9 percent increase in output and a 4.8 percent decline in hours worked. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) Labor productivity is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of the combined hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. The productivity measures released today were based on more recent and more complete data than were available for the preliminary report issued last month (see Revised measures). Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses fell 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009, as productivity grew at a faster rate (8.1 percent) than hourly compensation (5.4 percent). Unit labor costs declined 1.4 percent over the last four quarters (tables A and 2). BLS defines unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity; increases in hourly compensation tend to increase unit labor costs and increases in output per hour tend to reduce them. Manufacturing sector productivity grew 13.4 percent in the third quarter of 2009, as output rose 8.4 percent and hours worked fell 4.4 percent (tables A and 3). The third quarter gain in manufacturing productivity was the largest in the series, which begins in the second quarter of 1987. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity grew 3.0 percent. Manufacturing unit labor costs fell 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2009, but rose 3.0 percent over the last four quarters. The data sources and methods used in the preparation of the manufacturing output series differ from those used in preparing the business and nonfarm business output series, and these measures are not directly comparable. See Technical Notes for more information on data sources. Revised measures Table B presents previous and revised productivity and related measures for the major sectors: business, nonfarm business and manufacturing, for the second and third quarters of 2009. In the third quarter of 2009, nonfarm business productivity was revised down from 9.5 percent to 8.1 percent, reflecting a downward revision to output and an upward revision to hours. Unit labor costs declined 2.5 percent rather than falling 5.2 percent as previously reported; this upward revision was due both to the downward revision to productivity and the 1.6 percentage-point upward revision to hourly compensation. In the manufacturing sector, upward revisions to both output and hours affected productivity, which was revised slightly down by 0.2 percentage point. In the second quarter of 2009, nonfarm business productivity was not revised. However, unit labor costs were revised to show zero growth during the second quarter rather than decreasing 6.1 percent as previously reported. This upward revision to unit labor costs was due solely to the large upward revision to hourly compensation. In the manufacturing sector, second quarter productivity was not revised; unit labor costs were revised upward by 1.3 percentage points. More at link with formatted tables

Jobless claims - 8:30

Full report here UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA In the week ending Nov. 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 457,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 462,000. The 4-week moving average was 481,250, a decrease of 14,250 from the previous week's revised average of 495,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the week ending Nov. 21, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 4.1 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Nov. 21 was 5,465,000, an increase of 28,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 5,437,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,541,500, a decrease of 75,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 5,617,250. The fiscal year-to-date average for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all programs is 5.832 million. UNADJUSTED DATA The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 460,989 in the week ending Nov. 28, a decrease of 78,263 from the previous week. There were 535,730 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,787,291, a decrease of 296,052 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.7 percent and the volume was 3,652,990. Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin during the week ending Nov. 14. Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 2,269 in the week ending Nov. 21, a decrease of 101 from the prior week. There were 2,330 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 368 from the preceding week. There were 24,523 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending Nov. 14, an increase of 1,389 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 36,359, an increase of 1,752 from the prior week. States reported 3,859,553 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending Nov. 14, an increase of 265,300 from the prior week. There were 777,393 claimants in the comparable week in 2008. EUC weekly claims include first, second, and third tier activity. The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Nov. 14 were in Puerto Rico (6.1 percent), Oregon (5.9), Alaska (5.5), California (5.2), Nevada (5.2), Michigan (5.1), Pennsylvania (5.0), Wisconsin (5.0), North Carolina (4.8), and Washington (4.7). The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Nov. 21 were in California (+14,796), Illinois (+6,168), North Carolina (+5,557), Pennsylvania (+5,285), and Texas (+3,500), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-1,242), Indiana (-987), Hawaii (-195), Oregon (-167), and the Virgin Islands (-10).

Pre-market - 7:50

Futures up on last nights news about BAC paying back TARP money - an of course a weaker dollar overnight. DJIA INDEX 10,467.00 28.00 S&P 500 1,111.10 3.20 NASDAQ 100 1,793.75 2.25 Today's economic reports: Chain Store Sales Monster Employment Index ECB Announcement 7:45 AM ET - rate unchanged Jobless Claims 8:30 AM ET Productivity and Costs 8:30 AM ET 30-Yr Bond Announcement 9:00 AM ET ISM Non-Mfg Index 10:00 AM ET EIA Natural Gas Report 10:30 AM ET 3-Month Bill Announcement 11:00 AM ET 6-Month Bill Announcement 11:00 AM ET 3-Yr Note Announcement 11:00 AM ET 10-Yr Note Announcement 11:00 AM ET Eric Rosengren Speaks 12:30 PM ET Money Supply 4:30 PM ET Today's earnings reports. Before open: APWR A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd. Utilities Electric Utilities CM Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Financial Money Center Banks CUB Cubic Corp. Technology Scientific & Technical Instruments DLM Del Monte Foods Co. Consumer Goods Processed & Packaged Goods FLOW Flow International Corp. Industrial Goods Machine Tools & Accessories MDNU Medical Nutrition USA, Inc. Healthcare Drug Related Products RSC REX Stores Corp. Services Electronics Stores STST Argon ST, Inc. Technology Scientific & Technical Instruments TD Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Money Center Banks TOL Toll Brothers Inc. Industrial Goods Residential Construction TUTR Plato Learning, Inc. Services Business Services UTIW UTI Worldwide, Inc. Services Air Delivery & Freight Services After close: AMSWA American Software, Inc. Technology Application Software ARST ArcSight, Inc. Technology Business Software & Services AVAV AeroVironment, Inc. Industrial Goods Aerospace/Defense Products & Services AVGO Avago Technologies Limited Technology Semiconductor - Broad Line CMTL Comtech Telecommunications Corp. Technology Communication Equipment CPWM Cost Plus Inc. Services Department Stores CRI Carter's, Inc. Consumer Goods Textile - Apparel Clothing DMND Diamond Foods, Inc. Consumer Goods Processed & Packaged Goods LAVA Magma Design Automation Inc. Technology Business Software & Services LQDT Liquidity Services, Inc. Technology Internet Software & Services MENT Mentor Graphics Corp. Technology Technical & System Software MRVL Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Technology Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits NOVL Novell Inc. Technology Security Software & Services OHB Orleans Homebuilders Inc. Industrial Goods Residential Construction ULTA Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. Services Personal Services XETA XETA Technologies Inc. Technology Communication Equipment

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Market wrap - 4:15

Mixed day in the market, not much happening. Dow 10,453 -19 -0.18% Nasdaq 2,185 9 0.42% S&P 500 1,109 0 0.03% GlobalDow 1,984 +6 +0.29% Gold 1,213 +13 +1.07% Oil 76.62 -1.77 -2.26%

Beige Book - 2:00

Full report here Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and based on information collected on or before November 20, 2009. This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials. Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic conditions have generally improved modestly since the last report. Eight Districts indicated some pickup in activity or improvement in conditions, while the remaining four--Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, and Atlanta--reported that conditions were little changed and/or mixed. Consumer spending was reported to have picked up moderately since the last report, for both general merchandise and vehicles; a number of Districts noted relatively robust sales of used autos. Most Districts indicated that non-auto retailers were holding lean inventories going into the holiday season. Tourism activity varied across Districts. Manufacturing conditions were said to be, on balance, steady to moderately improving across most of the country, while conditions in the nonfinancial service sector generally strengthened somewhat, though with some variation across Districts and across industries. Residential real estate conditions were somewhat improved from very low levels, on balance, led by the lower end of the market. Most Districts reported some pickup in home sales, though prices were generally said to be flat or declining modestly; residential construction was characterized as weak, but some Districts did note some pickup in activity. Commercial real estate markets and construction activity were depicted as very weak and, in many cases, deteriorating. Financial institutions generally reported steady to weaker loan demand, continued tight credit standards, and steady or deteriorating loan quality. In the agricultural sector, the fall harvest was delayed in the eastern half of the nation due to excessively wet conditions during October and early November. Most energy-producing Districts noted a slight uptick in activity in the sector since the last report. Labor market conditions remained weak since the last report, though there were signs of stabilization and scattered signs of improvement. While some Districts reported upward pressure on commodity prices, they saw little or no indication of upward wage pressures or of any significant increase in prices of finished goods. Consumer Spending and Tourism Consumer spending strengthened since the last report, with sales of both general merchandise and autos improving across much of the country. Non-auto sales were reported to have picked up in the New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City, and San Francisco Districts; sales were described as steady or mixed in the Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas Districts. St. Louis described retail sales as below expectations and down from a year earlier. Auto sales generally improved since the last report, in some cases rebounding from a brief dip after the "cash-for-clunkers" program ended. Increased vehicle sales were reported from New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, and Dallas, while sales were described as flat or mixed in the Cleveland, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco Districts. A number of Districts reported that used vehicles have been selling better than new ones. Most Districts also noted that retailers were holding leaner inventories this holiday season, though some indicate that retailers have recently become more optimistic about the holiday-season outlook. Auto dealers' inventories, largely depleted during the cash-for-clunkers program, have been or are being rebuilt. Tourism was mixed across those Districts reporting. Travel and tourism--especially leisure travel--was described as robust or improved in the New York, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Atlanta and Kansas City characterized tourism as sluggish, while Richmond and Minneapolis described it as mixed; Richmond noted that tourism has been adversely affected by severe and damaging coastal storms, while Kansas City characterized the outlook as "grim." New York indicated that business travel remained sluggish, but Minneapolis and Dallas note a slight pickup. Nonfinancial Services Activity in the service sector generally picked up since the last report, though results were mixed across Districts and across service industries. New York and Philadelphia reported that service-sector activity overall remained steady to up slightly, while St. Louis noted expanding activity. The information technology industry was reported to be showing improvement in the Boston, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts. A pickup in activity at staffing firms was reported by Boston and Dallas, whereas New York noted that activity remained sluggish. Strength in health services was noted in the Boston and Richmond Districts. Shipping activity was characterized as flat in the Cleveland, Atlanta, and Kansas City District, while Dallas reports some gain; however, Dallas and Atlanta both noted particular weakness in rail shipping activity. Professional and business support firms reportedly registered some improvement in the St. Louis and Minneapolis Districts but flat to declining activity in Richmond and San Francisco. Manufacturing Most Districts reported mixed to moderately improving manufacturing conditions since the last report. New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco all noted modest increases in manufacturing activity within their Districts. Manufacturing conditions in the Boston and Dallas Districts were characterized as mixed, with some improvement noted for biopharmaceuticals companies in Boston and high-tech manufacturing firms in Dallas. By contrast, Richmond and Chicago both reported that manufacturing activity had leveled off since the last report, while activity continued to decline in the Atlanta and St. Louis Districts, although at a somewhat slower pace than the last report. Tighter credit limited the ability of customers to place new orders in the Richmond District, while in the Chicago District, contacts noted a slowdown in the restocking of inventories. Increases in activity related to the transportation industry were cited in the Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Kansas City Districts, although such activity was mixed in the Dallas District and reported as declining in the San Francisco District. Several Districts noted an uptick in food-related production. Many Districts reported that their contacts were optimistic about the near-term outlook. Manufacturers in the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts expected business conditions to improve in the coming months, while producers in the Cleveland District expressed uncertainty about near-term conditions. The outlook in the Dallas District was mixed, with most manufacturers expressing cautious optimism about the near term and construction-related manufacturers expressing pessimism about the future largely due to expectations of prolonged weakness in commercial real estate. Real Estate and Construction Home sales and construction activity improved across much of the nation, though prices were generally said to be flat or still declining somewhat. A majority of Districts reported that the lower-priced segment of the housing market has outperformed the high end. Increases in sales activity were reported in the Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, whereas sales were described as steady or mixed in the New York and Philadelphia Districts. Multifamily housing markets deteriorated further in the New York and Chicago Districts. More broadly, a number of eastern Districts reported continued declines in home prices--specifically, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond. In contrast, prices were said to have firmed somewhat in the Dallas and San Francisco Districts and stabilized in the Chicago and Kansas City Districts. Most reports maintained that the lower end of the market has outperformed the higher end: New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City all noted relative weakness at the high end of the market, with relative strength at the lower end; in most cases, this strength was largely attributed to the homebuyer tax credit (which was recently reinstated and expanded to include existing owners). Despite the firming in sales, the level of new residential construction activity was generally characterized as weak, though recent trends have been mixed--Atlanta, Kansas City, and Dallas noted some pickup in home construction, whereas the Chicago and St. Louis Districts reported declines. Residential construction was described as flat or stabilizing by Cleveland, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. Commercial real estate conditions were widely characterized as weak and, in many cases, deteriorating further. Market conditions were reported to have weakened in virtually all Districts, with rising vacancy rates, downward pressure on rents, and little, if any, new development. Expectations for 2010 were also quite low. Boston characterized the commercial real estate outlook as "bleak," Dallas noted that construction was at "historically low levels," and Kansas City described the sector as "distressed." Still, some Districts noted scattered signs of encouragement: Cleveland and Chicago referenced public-works projects as a source of increased business, Richmond noted signs of increased leasing activity from the health and education sectors, Atlanta indicated a modest pickup in new development projects, Minneapolis noted some recently started hotel and retail development, and San Francisco cited slight improvement in availability of financing for new development. Banking and Finance Banks reported steady to softer conditions in most Districts. Loan demand was said to have weakened in the New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts. New York noted particular weakness in demand for home mortgage loans, whereas Richmond and St. Louis reported this to be the strongest segment of late. For the most part, the weakness appears to have been concentrated in the commercial sector, though Boston and Chicago reported some pickup in commercial real estate lending--largely refinancing. Credit quality showed signs of deteriorating in the New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts but was described as stable or mixed in Cleveland, Chicago, and Kansas City, with Chicago reporting some improvement outside of commercial real estate. Increasingly tight credit standards were reported in the New York, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco--largely on commercial loans. Agriculture and Natural Resources Excessively wet conditions during October and early November were reported in a number of Districts. As a result, the fall harvest was delayed in many parts of the Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts. Flooding from Tropical Storm Ida and a November "nor'easter" damaged crops and delayed planting throughout the Richmond District, and Virginia health officials closed fishing in all Chesapeake Bay tributaries and temporarily banned the harvesting of shellfish due to potential storm water contamination. By contrast, rainfall in the Dallas District helped alleviate drought conditions experienced in many parts of the region. Contacts in the Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts noted that corn and soybean prices rallied over the past month, although a wide variation in margins was expected for crop farms due to differences in input costs. Losses for livestock operations occurred in the Chicago and Kansas City Districts. Most energy-producing Districts reported a slight uptick in activity in extraction industries since the last report. Contacts in the Cleveland, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco Districts noted steady to increasing oil and natural gas production within their regions, albeit from low levels of production observed earlier this year. Contacts in the Cleveland District also reported that a sharp decline in coal production had leveled out since the last report. In general, oil prices increased somewhat, while reports on the price of natural gas were mixed due in large part to differences in inventory levels across Districts. Mining activity in the Minneapolis District increased. Employment, Wages, and Prices Labor market conditions remained weak since the last report, with further layoffs, sluggish hiring, and high levels of unemployment in most Districts. However, contacts in the Atlanta, Cleveland, and Richmond Districts reported that the pace of job cuts generally slowed in their regions, and most contacts in the Dallas District reported stable employment levels. Despite generally weak employment conditions, some signs of improvement were noted. For example, contacts in Boston reported that they were beginning to hire and reverse pay cuts or freezes that were implemented earlier in the year, and contacts in the St. Louis District reported that the service sector had started to expand recently. Expectations for the holiday season were mixed across Districts, with contacts in the New York and Dallas Districts reporting lighter-than-normal seasonal hiring and/or increases in the hours of existing employees, as opposed to hiring temporary workers, to meet the seasonal demand. On the other hand, most retailers in the Richmond District have hired the usual number of seasonal workers this year. Districts generally reported little or no upward wage pressures, while some Districts noted upward pressure in commodity prices, and most Districts reported stable selling prices. Wages were largely reported to be holding steady in the Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Most Districts reported stable prices overall, although some reported higher input prices, largely for energy and other commodities used in production, with a limited ability to raise selling prices. Prices were reported as moderately lower in the Kansas City District, and downward price pressures were cited for some professional services and intermodal transportation firms in the Dallas District. Some makers of food products and chemicals in the Philadelphia District reported raising prices, and the prices of computer memory chips continued to firm in the San Francisco District. Retailers in several Districts indicated that they have managed inventory levels in an effort to prevent the steep price discounting that occurred last year, however, some promotional price discounting is expected through the holiday season.

Pre-market - Wednesday, December 2

Futures just plain flat today. Not worth posting - just flat. Today's economic news: MBA Purchase Applications 7:00 AM ET Challenger Job-Cut Report 7:30 AM ET ADP Employment Report 8:15 AM ET Tim Geithner Speaks 9:30 AM ET EIA Petroleum Status Report 10:30 AM ET Beige Book 2:00 PM ET Before open: CHRS Charming Shoppes Inc. Services Apparel Stores DSGX Descartes Systems Group Inc. Technology Business Software & Services GIII G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. Consumer Goods Textile - Apparel Clothing JOSB Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. Services Apparel Stores PTRY Pantry Inc. Services Grocery Stores SYNO Synovis Life Technologies Inc. Healthcare Medical Appliances & Equipment After close: ARO Aeropostale Inc. Services Apparel Stores ATCO American Technology Corp. Technology Diversified Electronics CWST Casella Waste Systems Inc. Industrial Goods Waste Management DDMX Dynamex Inc. Services Trucking JAS Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. Services Specialty Retail, Other PSS Collective Brands, Inc. Services Apparel Stores SEAC SeaChange International Inc. Technology Processing Systems & Products SIGM Sigma Designs, Inc. Technology Semiconductor - Specialized SNPS Synopsys Inc. Technology Technical & System Software

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Market wrap - 6:30

Just another day in the casino. Large gap up this morning, traded a bit higher during the day, only to sell off a bit in the last hour and a half. Notice GS & AAPL, the leaders since March. Dow 10,472 127 1.23% Nasdaq 2,176 31 1.46% S&P 500 1,109 +13 +1.21% Gold 1,200 +18 +1.51% Oil 77.93 +1.09 +1.41%

ISM manufacturing - 10:00 - late because link did not work

Full report here November 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® PMI at 53.6% DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire United States, while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of November 2009. New Orders, Production and Employment Growing Inventories Contracting Supplier Deliveries Slower (Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the fourth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the seventh consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector grew for the fourth consecutive month in November. While the rate of growth slowed when compared to October, the signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and production are still at very positive levels, and the Prices Index fell 10 points, signaling less inflationary pressure on manufacturers' costs. Overall, the recovery in manufacturing is continuing, but many are still struggling based on their comments." PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY In November, 12 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. The industries — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Machinery. The five industries reporting contraction in November are: Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; and Plastics & Rubber Products. WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ... * "Becoming concerned about the value of the U.S. dollar." (Apparel, Leather & Allied Products) * "Low value of the dollar driving commodity costs higher." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) * "Demand from automotive manufacturers remains strong and building." (Fabricated Metal Products) * "Capital construction seems to be picking up, and we are seeing more jobs that are bid out." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components) * "Steady increase in business." (Primary Metals) COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE and IN SHORT SUPPLY Commodities Up in Price Aluminum (5); Copper (6); Copper Based Products (5); Natural Gas (2); Oil; and Steel (5). Commodities Down in Price No commodities are reported down in price. Commodities in Short Supply Electronic Components is the only commodity reported in short supply. Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item. PMI Manufacturing growth decelerated in November as the PMI registered 53.6 percent, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points when compared to October's reading of 55.7 percent. This continues the recovery in the sector, but at a slower rate of growth. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting. A PMI in excess of 41.2 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the PMI indicates growth for the seventh consecutive month in the overall economy, as well as expansion in the manufacturing sector for the fourth consecutive month. Ore stated, "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through November (45.4 percent) corresponds to a 1.3 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). However, if the PMI for November (53.6 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 3.9 percent increase in real GDP annually." THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Pending home sales - 10:00

Full report here Pending home sales have risen for nine months in a row, a first for the series of the index since its inception in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in October, increased 3.7 percent to 114.1 from 110.0 in September, and is 31.8 percent above October 2008 when it was 86.6. The rise from a year ago is the biggest annual increase ever recorded for the index, which is at the highest level since March 2006 when it was 115.2. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales are experiencing a pendulum swing. “Keep in mind that housing had been underperforming over most of the past year. Based on the demographics of our growing population, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.5 million to 6.0 million annually, but we were well below the 5-million mark before the home buyer tax credit stimulus,” he said. “This means the tax credit is helping unleash a pent-up demand from a large pool of financially qualified renters, much more than borrowing sales from the future. The PHSI in the Northeast surged 19.9 percent to 100.2 in October and is 44.2 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 11.6 percent to 109.6 and is 36.6 percent higher than October 2008. Pending home sales in the South increased 5.4 percent to an index of 115.4, which is 31.6 percent above a year ago. In the West the index fell 11.2 percent to 127.7 but is 21.9 percent above October 2008. Yun cautioned that home sales could dip in the months ahead. “The expanded tax credit has only been available for the past three weeks, but the time between when buyers start looking at homes until they close on a sale can take anywhere from three to five months. Given the lag time, we could see a temporary decline in closed existing-home sales from December until early spring when we get another surge, but the weak job market remains a major concern and could slow the recovery process. “Still, as inventories continue to decline and balance is gradually restored between buyers and sellers, we should reach self-sustaining housing conditions and firming home prices in most areas around the middle of 2010. That would mean broad wealth stabilization for the vast number of middle-class families,” Yun said. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Construction spending - 10:00

Full report here OCTOBER 2009 CONSTRUCTION AT $910.8 BILLION ANNUAL RATE The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during October 2009 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $910.8 billion, nearly the same as (±1.6%)* the revised September estimate of $910.4 billion. The October figure is 14.4 percent (±1.6%) below the October 2008 estimate of $1,064.1 billion. During the first 10 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $794.0 billion, 12.6 percent (±1.1%) below the $908.9 billion for the same period in 2008. PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $589.0 billion, 0.3 percent (±1.1%)* above the revised September estimate of $587.2 illion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $250.3 billion in October, 4.4 percent (±1.3%) above the revised September estimate of $239.7 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $338.6 billion in October, 2.5 percent (±1.1%) below the revised September estimate of $347.5 billion. PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION In October, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $321.8 billion, 0.4 percent (±2.4%)* below the revised September estimate of $323.2 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $85.7 billion, 1.1 percent (±2.9%)* above the revised September estimate of $84.7 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $87.2 billion, 0.3 percent (±6.6%)* below the revised September estimate of $87.4 billion.

Pre-market - Tuesday - December 1

Futures up on a falling dollar DJIA INDEX 10,400.00 66.00 S&P 500 1,102.80 8.00 NASDAQ 100 1,781.00 13.50 Today's economic reports: Motor Vehicle Sales ICSC-Goldman Store Sales 7:45 AM ET Redbook 8:55 AM ET ISM Mfg Index 10:00 AM ET Construction Spending 10:00 AM ET Pending Home Sales Index 10:00 AM ET 4-Week Bill Auction 11:30 AM ET Today's earnings reports: Before open: BECN Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. Services Building Materials Wholesale GIGM GigaMedia Ltd. Technology Internet Software & Services ISLE Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. Services Resorts & Casinos LDR Landauer Inc. Services Research Services NPD China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd. Services Drug Stores SPLS Staples, Inc. Services Specialty Retail, Other THO Thor Industries Inc. Consumer Goods Recreational Vehicles UTI Universal Technical Institute Inc. Services Education & Training Services After close: CFI Culp Inc. Industrial Goods Textile Industrial CPRT Copart Inc. Services Auto Dealerships GAME Shanda Games Limited Services Entertainment - Diversified LTXC LTX-Credence Corporation Technology Semiconductor Equipment & Materials SNDA Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. Technology Internet Software & Services

Market wrap - a day late -

Dow 10,345 35 0.34% Nasdaq 2,145 6 0.29% S&P 500 1,096 4 0.38% GlobalDow1,961 +21 +1.07% Gold 1,183 8 0.64% Oil 78.05 0.83 1.07%

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicago PMI - 9:45

Highlights * The Chicago PMI index jumped over the 50 point threshold for the first time since September 2008 as the index grew to 54.2 in October. The consensus expected the index to increase slightly to 49.0 from 46.1 and remain in the contraction phase. * The production index increased to 63.9 from 47.2 and orders rose to 61.4 from 46.3. * Inventories continued to contract and have gotten worse over the last month as the index declined to 32.2 from 38.9. * The only other sector that continued to contract was employment, which declined to 38.3 from 38.8. * Other components of the index showed the manufacturing sector strengthening including order backlogs, which increased to 41.9 from 36.7 and prices paid, which declined to 48.6 from 51.3. Key Factors * The entire index showed signs of a sustainable expansionary cycle. * Unlike last month's national index, where production grew on the anticipation of new orders that never came in, production and new orders posted strong growth and entered an expansionary phase in the Chicago region. Big Picture * The Chicago PMI has little overall economic value, and is only watched by the financial markets because it is usually released one day in advance of the similar national ISM manufacturing survey. A significant move in this regional survey will therefore sometimes be seen as having predictive value for the ISM index.

Pre-market - Monday, November 30, 2009

Futures down slightly on the Dubai worries. DJIA INDEX 10,280.00 -12.00 S&P 500 1,087.70 -1.80 NASDAQ 100 1,757.25 -2.00 Today's economic reports: Chicago PMI9:45 AM ET 4-Week Bill Announcement 11:00 AM ET 3-Month Bill Auction 11:30 AM ET 6-Month Bill Auction 11:30 AM ET Farm Prices 3:00 PM ET Today's earnings reports. Before open: NRGY Inergy, L.P. Services Specialty Retail, Other PATR Patriot Transportation Holding Inc. Services Trucking TLVT Telvent Git S.A. Technology Computer Based Systems UNFY Unify Corp. Technology Business Software & Services After close: GES Guess? Inc. Services Apparel Stores LTON Linktone Ltd. Technology Wireless Communications OVTI OmniVision Technologies Inc. Technology Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits SNS Steak n Shake Co. Services Restaurants SOFOD Sonic Foundry Inc. Technology Application Software ZOLT Zoltek Companies Inc. Industrial Goods Industrial Electrical Equipment