Dale Franks’ QandO posts
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The Labor Department reports that 257,000 net new jobs were created in January, while the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 5.7%. In addition, December’s jobs gain was revised sharply upwards from 252,000 to 329,000. The labor force participation rate rose 0.2% to 62.9% as 1,051,000 workers returned to the labor force, which accounts also for the increase in the unemployment rate. Average hourly earnings rose 0.5%, while average weekly hours remained unchanged at 34.6 hours. The real rate of unemployment, based on the historical labor force participation rate of 66.2%, fell slightly to 10.35% from 10.56% in December.
Consumer credit rose $14.8 billion in December, helped by a big $5.8 billion jump in revolving credit.
Chain stores today are reporting mostly stronger rates of year-on-year sales growth in January vs December.
Challenger’s layoff count for January jumped to 53,041 from 32,640 in December. Troublingly, 40% of layoffs are in the energy sector.
Gallup’s US Payroll to Population rate fell -0.2% to 44.1%. Gallup estimates unemployment at 7.1%, and underemployment at 15.8%.
The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in December, from $-39.0 billion to $-46.6 billion as exports fell -1.1% and imports rose 2.2%.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 11,000 to 278,000. The 4-week average fell 6,500 to 292,750. Continuing claims rose 6,000 to 2.400 million.
The initial estimate of non-farm productivity for the 4th Quarter of 2014 is for a decline of -1.8%, while unit labor costs increased 2.7%.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.8 points to a still healthy 45.5 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.500 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-7.3 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $67.5 billion in the latest week.
6,500 in the week to 292,750
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 1.3% last week, with purchases down -2.0%, but refis up 3.0%.
ADP sees slowing job growth with a lower-than-expected 213,000 private payroll jobs added in January.
Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index rose 1 point to 28 for January.
The Markit PMI services index for January rose 0.9 points to 54.2.
The ISM non-manufacturing index rose 0.5 points to 56.7 in January.
J.P. Morgan’s Global Composite PMI rose 0.5 points to 52.8, while the Global Services PMI rose 0.6 points to 52.9 in January.
January auto sales weakened by -1.2% to 16.7 million annual rate, following December’s -0.7% decline. Having said that, sales are still strong compared to a year ago, and the weakness is centered in foreign-made vehicles.
Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index rose from -5 to 3 in January, the first positive reading since 2008.
Redbook reports retail sales rose 3.8% on a year-ago basis, from last week’s 3.2%.
Factory orders are weak at the headline level, down -3.4% in December, and the fifth straight decline. Excluding defense goods and civilian aircraft, however, orders are actually up 0.1%.
Gallup’s self-reported daily consumer spending measure fell to $81 in January from $98 in December.
Personal Income rose by 0.3% in January, while personal spending fell by -0.3%. The PCE Price index, and inflation measure, fell by -0.2% at the headline level, while the core rate, excluding food and energy, was unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, personal income is up 4.6% while spending is up 3.6%. The PCE price index is 0.7% higher than a year ago, while the core PCE is up 1.3%.
The Markit PMI manufacturing index for January was unchanged at 53.9.
The ISM Manufacturing index fell -2.0 points in January to 53.5.
The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose just 0.1 points in January to 51.7.
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The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.2% last week, with purchases down -0.1% and refis down -5.0%.
The Federal Open Markets Committee left US monetary policy unchanged at this meeting, with the Fed Funds target rate remaining at 0% to 0.5%.
Durable goods orders continue to fall, down -3.4% overall in December following November’s -2.1%. Excluding transportation, orders fell -0.8%. On a year-over-year basis, orders are up only 0.3%, though non-transportation orders are up 3.8%.
Redbook reports retail sales continue to weaken, rising just 3.2% on a year-ago basis, the weakest reading since July.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.7% in November, and is up 4.3% on year-over-year basis.
The Markit PMI services flash for January is up 0.4points to 54.0.
New home sales surged by a better-than-expected 11.6% in December to a 481,000 annual rate, while the median price rose 2.2% to $298,100.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for January rose a sharp 10.3 points to 102.9.
The Richmond Fed manufacturing index slipped -1 point in January to 6.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell from 112.1 to 106.7 in January, almost entirely on confidence slipping back in Europe. That said, the European index still remains quite high at 113.9.