Notwithstanding the IMF’s head Strauss-Kahn doing his best Charlie Sheen imitation, John Lipsky, the 2nd in command, is perfectly capable of temporarily taking over to solidify Portugal’s bailout terms and help to guide what to do with Greece. Germany is still pushing for a “soft” restructuring which is their way of saying extending the maturities of existing obligations while a European Commission spokesman said again that a “debt restructuring is not in the cards for Greece.” Either way, Greek stocks are falling to the lowest level since 1997 as until the absolute level of debt is dramatically reduced and growth ensues, there will be no smooth way out for them. This uncertainty and growing global growth concerns has almost all markets around the world lower. Of importance in the US today, the 1st May industrial figure reported, the NY mfr’g survey, will be released.
Following a continuing spate of softening economic data, the May NY mfr’g survey was well below expectations at 11.9 vs the forecast of 19.6 and is down from 21.7 in April. The internals though were mixed. The positives were the Employment component which rose almost 2 pts to the highest since ’04 and the Average Workweek which rose to the most since ’06. New Orders though moderated to 17.2 from 22.3 but Backlogs rose to 9.7 from 2.6. Inventories rose to the 2nd highest level since ’01. Prices Paid rose 12 pts to the highest since July ’08 and it’s the 2nd highest in the survey’s 10 yr history. Prices Received rose 1 pt to also near the highest on record. The General Business Conditions 6 month outlook did rise to 52.7 from 47.4, the best since Jan. Bottom line, this is the 1st May industrial figure reported and follows other recent data that has been below expectations (the outlook see’s it as temporary) but its just one region and we need to see others to come to any firm conclusion. Philly reports its area on Thursday.