Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts


Economic Statistics for 1 Apr 14

Domestic vehicle sales rose 6.9% in March to a 16.4 million annual rate, rebounding from the weather-impacted sales of the past two months.

ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales rose 3.6%, but were only up 0.6% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports an increase of 2.3% in retail sales over last year.

Markit’s manufacturing PMI final for March is 55.5, down from February’s 57.1.

The ISM manufacturing index rose 0.5 points in March to 53.7.

Construction spending in February rose 0.1%, which is a 8.7% increase over the previous year.

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI fell nearly a full point to 52.4 in March.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index averaged -17 in March, essentially the same as the -16 of the past two months.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 30 Mar 14

This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale talk about arresting climate change deniers, voter fraud, and Obamacare.

The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.


Economic Statistics for 28 Mar 14

Personal income and spending both rose 0.2% in February, while the PCE price index rose 0.1%, at both the headline and core level. On a year-over-year basis, personal income is up 3.1% while personal spending is up 3.1%. The PCE price index is up 0.9% at the headline level and 1.1% at the core.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index rose 0.1 points to 80.0 in March.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+


Economic Statistics for 27 Mar 14

The Commerce Department’s final GDP revision for the 4th Quarter shows a below-trend annualized rate of 2.6% GDP growth.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 311,000. The 4-week average fell 9,250 to 317,750. Continuing claims fell 53,000 to 2.823 million.

Corporate profits in the 4th Quarter of 2013 were $1.905 trillion, compared to $1.869 trillion in the 3rd Quarter. On a year-over-year basis, corporate profits are up 6.0%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -2.5 points to -31.5 in the latest week.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index fell -0.8% to 93.9 in February.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index rose to 10 in March, versus 4 in February.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose by $4.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.890 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $13.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $12.2 billion in the latest week.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+


Economic Statistics for 26 Mar 14

The MBA reports Mortgage applications fell -3.5% last week. Purchases were up 3.0% but re-fis fell 08.0%.

Durable goods orders rose an ostensibly strong 2.2% in February, but were only up 0.2% less transportation orders. On a year-over-year basis, Orders are up 0.2% overall, and up 1.5% less transportation orders.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) US Services Flash for March rose from 52.7 to 55.5.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+


Economic Statistics for 25 Mar 14

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.5% in January, and is up 7.4% over the previous year.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index was up 0.8% in January. On a year-over-year basis, the index is up 13.2%.

New home sales fell from January’s 468k annualized sales rate to a 440k rate in February, as higher prices held down sales.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index in March rose a very sharp 4.2 points to 82.3.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index continued to decline in March, down a point to -7.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index was unchanged in March at 123.0.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 23 Mar 14

This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale talk about Russia, ICANN, and Bill Quick’s new novel, Lightning Fall.

The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.


Book Review: Lightning Fall

Bill Quick is a well-known blogger and writer, and many of you may be familiar with his DailyPundit blog. He has a new book out called Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster. It’s pretty…dark.

Basically, the story starts in the near future, with a nuclear terrorist attack. The attack is state-supported, not only by the usual suspects in the Middle East, but also by Mexico. New Orleans gets nuked, and a a major EMP blast essentially disables everything that uses electrical power in the states west of the Rockies. Then it gets worse.

America’s political leadership isn’t up to the job of responding. President Millicent Carter isn’t the best person to handle this sort of crisis, despite the keen political acumen and assistance of her husband, ex-president B.J. Carter–who was impeached, but not convicted, in the late 1990s. So, 60 million people are set to starve to death, or die in horrific rioting, or be killed by the invading army from Mexico, while the President does essentially nothing useful, and much that is counterproductive. This kicks off a Constitutional crisis.

Everything gets just about as bad as it possibly could, but, while it’s dark, it’s a pretty compelling read. I recommend it.


Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+