Dale Franks’ QandO posts
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The Labor Department reports that 292,000 net new jobs were created in December, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%. 277,000 people re-entered the labor force, sending the labor force participation rate up 0.1% to 62.6%. Average hourly earnings were unchanged, as was the average workweek, at 34.5 hours.
Wholesale inventories fell a sharp -0.3% in November, but an even steeper -1.0% drop in sales sent the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.32, compared to 1.23 a year ago.
Consumer credit rose by $14.0 billion in November, helped by a $5.7 billion increase in revolving credit.
Chain store sales—approximately 10% of all retail sales—reported rising rates of year on year sales growth today.
Challenger’s layoff count fell sharply in December, to 23,622, the lowest monthly level since June, 2000.
The Gallup Good Jobs Rate rose 0.4% to 45.3% in December.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 10,000 to 277,000. The 4-week average fell 1,250 to 275,750. Continuing claims rose 25,000 to 2.230 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.6 points to 44.2 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.487 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-7.5 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-10.8 billion in the latest week.
Finally, in other good news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen around 1,000 points, or -5.2% in the first four days of trading this year.
November factory orders slipped back into negative territory, falling -0.2%, with core capital goods down -0.3%.
The nation’s trade deficit narrowed to $-42.2 billion in November, as exports fell -0.9% and imports dropped -1.7%.
In December, the PMI Services index fell -1.8 points to 54.3, while the ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index fell -0.7 points to 55.3.
ADP’s Employment Report is calling for an unusually sharp increase of 257,000 new private-sector jobs in December.
Gallup’s US Job Creation Index fell a point to 30 in December.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications plunged -27.0% last week, with purchases down -15% and refis down -37%. This is a volatile index during shortened holiday weeks.
December auto sales fell a sharp -5.0% to an annualized 17.3 million, hinting at a bad month for retail sales, overall.
December’s economic confidence index from Gallup averaged -11 in December, up from November’s -13.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to 2.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 2.5%. Still not great numbers.
The PMI Manufacturing Index fell -1.6 points to 51.3 in December.
The ISM Manufacturing Index fell another -0.4% in December to 48.2, the lowest reading since July, 2009.
Construction spending unexpectedly fell -0.4% in November, but the year-on-year gain is still at 10.5%.
Gallup’s US Consumer Spending Measure rose from a daily average of $92 to $99 in December.
November’s international trade goods deficit narrowed to $-60.5 billion from the revised $-63.0 billion in October. Exports fell -2.0%, while imports fell -1.8%.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose to 108.3, up 1.0 point from November’s revised reading of 107.3.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 6.1 points in December to 96.5.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in October, and is up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to 2.5% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.8%.
The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey rose for the 3rd month in a row, up 8.3 points in December, to 13.4. The general activity index, however, plunged from -4.9 to -20.1. Additionally, the New Orders index fell to -8.9, baking in some concern about the future.
November durable goods orders were unchanged—which counts as good news now, I guess—while ex-transportation orders fell -0.1%, and core capital goods orders fell -0.4%. On a year-over year basis, Durables orders rose 1.2% overall, but ex-transportation orders fell -1.9% and core capital goods orders fell -1.8%.
Both personal income and spending rose 0.3% in November, while the PCE Price Index was unchanged overall, and up 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE Price index is up 0.4% overall, and 1.3% ex-food and -energy.
New home sales rose 4.3% in November to what is still a lower-than-expected annualized rate of 490,000.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose 0.8 points to 92.6 in December.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 7.3% last week, with purchases up 4.0% and refis up 11.0%.
The final revision of 3rd Quarter GDP came in at 2.0% annualized growth, down -0.1% from the 2nd revision. The GDP Price index was unchanged at 1.3%.
Corporate profits in the 3rd Quarter were revised to $1.784 trillion, up a year-on-year 1.3%, down from the initial revision’s 1.4%.
The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.5% in October, which is up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis.
Existing home sales plunged -10.5% in November, to a much lower-than-expected annualized rate of 4.760 million. On a year-over-year basis, sales are down -3.8%.
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index climbed back into positive territory in December, rising from -3 to 6.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose only to 1.8% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.5%. Sales have been consistently weak this holiday season.