Weekly Economic Update
“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”
– Zig Ziglar
If you want to leave your company on your terms, make sure you leave enough time to carry out your exit strategy effectively. Think five years at minimum.
Liz went into a convenience store at 1:58am on a Sunday morning to get a coffee. She drove six miles away and then returned to the store to get a lotto ticket … also at 1:58am. The store’s clock was working perfectly, so how could it be 1:58am again when she returned?
Last week’s riddle:
Ray slipped off of a 30-foot escalator and landed on a sidewalk. He was embarrassed, yet uninjured. How could this be?
Last week’s answer:
He slipped off the escalator’s bottom step.
December 3, 2012
SPENDING DOWN, CONFIDENCE & GDP UP
Personal spending decreased 0.2% in October, the first monthly retreat since June, possibly attributable to Superstorm Sandy. (Consumer spending dipped 0.3% when adjusted for inflation.) Personal income was flat in October for the first time since April. Even so, November’s Conference Board index of consumer confidence measured 73.7, a 57-month high. The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised Q3 GDP up to 2.7%, although federal spending and restocking of goods were the major factors in the quarter’s improved output.1,2
ANOTHER ROUND OF POSITIVE HOUSING NEWS
New home sales have increased 17.2% in the last 12 months, even with a 0.3% retreat in October. In addition to that news from the Census Bureau, the latest edition of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed home values in the third quarter rising 3.6% from Q3 2011. The National Association of Realtors reported a 5.2% jump in its pending home sales index in October, which at 104.8 reached its highest point since March 2007.3,4,5
BUSINESSES KEEP PURCHASING AS CLIFF NEARS
Durable goods orders were flat in October, but they rose 1.5% minus transportation orders. Increasing orders for electrical components (+4.1%), computers (+0.9%) and machinery (+2.9%) showed confidence on the part of companies.6
NEGOTIATIONS STALL, BUT STOCKS ADVANCE
Even with very little progress in the fiscal cliff talks in Washington, the S&P 500 managed a 0.50% gain last week to reach 1,416.25 at the closing bell on Friday. The NASDAQ (+1.46% to 3,010.24) and Dow (+0.12% to 13,025.04) also advanced last week. The NASDAQ and S&P respectively gained 1.11% and 0.29% in November; the DJIA, on the other hand, slipped 0.55% on the month. Gold closed Friday at $1,710.90; oil settled Friday at $88.91.7,8,9
THIS WEEK: ISM’s November manufacturing index appears Monday, along with Commerce Department data on November auto sales and Q3 results from Pep Boys. Tuesday brings earnings from Pandora, Toll Bros., BigLots! and AutoZone. Wednesday, ISM’s November service sector index is out plus data on October factory orders and earnings from Men’s Wearhouse. Thursday, the latest weekly jobless claims numbers arrive and the European Central Bank and Bank of England make policy announcements; earnings reports are in from Smithfield Foods, Lululemon and H&R Block. Friday, the November jobs report arrives; so does the preliminary December consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan.
Sources: cnbc.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 11/30/127,10,11,12
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1 – www.foxbusiness.com/economy/2012/11/30/consumer-spending-makes-unexpected-fall-in-october/ [11/30/12]
2 – www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/27/us-usa-economy-instant-idUSBRE8AQ0SP20121127 [11/27/12]
3 – www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mo-new-home-sales-20121128,0,3039964.story [11/28/12]
4 – blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/11/27/price-rise-shows-a-better-balanced-u-s-housing-market/ [11/27/12]
5 – www.philly.com/philly/business/20121130_Pending_home_sales_in_Oct__hit_nearly_6-year_high.html [11/30/12]
6 – news.investors.com/economy/112712-634800-fiscal-cliff-fears-dont-sink-durable-goods-confidence.htm [11/27/12]
7 – www.cnbc.com/id/50025105 [11/30/12]
8 – online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20121130-711977.html [11/30/12]
9 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=retirement-investment-funds&category=3 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F30%2F11&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F30%2F11&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F30%2F11&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F29%2F02&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F29%2F02&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
10 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F29%2F02&x=0&y=0 [11/30/12]
11 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/30/12]
11 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/30/12]
12 – treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/press/preanre/2002/ofm71002.pdf [7/10/02]