Succinct summation of week’s events:
1) AAA says avg gallon of gasoline falls for 22nd straight day to lowest since Jan at $3.29, perfect timing during holiday spending season.
2) Nov core Retail Sales rise .5% vs est of up .3%.
3) Initial Claims fall to 343k, 26k less than expected but Labor Dept uncertain on seasonal adjustment impact.
4) With record low mortgage rates, refi’s rise 8% to 8 week high while purchases up just .1% but to 1 yr high.
5) CPI, PPI and Import Prices all benign led by drop in energy prices.
6) Shanghai index gets off its arse and rallies 4.3% on the week to 4 month high.
7) Chinese HSBC initial mfr’g PMI up slightly to 50.9 from 50.5. IP and Retail Sales rise at fastest pace since Mar.
8) India’s wholesale inflation moderates to lowest since Jan giving room to RBI to cut rates.
9) German ZEW investor 6 month confidence rises to +6.9 from -15.7. Current conditions up a more slight .3 pts to 5.7.
10) Euro zone mfr’g and services composite index rises to 47.8 from 46.7 and better than est of 47. Still below 50 for 11th straight month but best in 5 mo’s.
11) Euro zone CPI falls to 2.2% y/o/y from 2.5%, a 2 yr low.
12) Greece lives another financially bailed out day as they finally get next tranche.
13) Rush finally gets inducted into Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame!
1) Little progress seen in DC.
2) The FOMC sinks themselves ever deeper into a policy that clear to many except them not only hasn’t economically worked but I argue is doing damage. I don’t look forward to the ‘Exit’ chapter of this book that is getting scarier to me by the page.
3) NFIB small business optimism index not optimistic as it falls to 87.5 from 93.1, the lowest since Mar ’10 where those that Expect a Better Economy falls to -35% from +2%.
4) Oct Exports fall 3.6% m/o/m off record high to lowest since Feb, Imports down 2.1% to weakest since Apr ’11.
5) Business Inventories rise .4% to slowest since June, would be good after Q3 buildup but I/S ratio rises to match most since Dec ’09 as sales fall .4%.
6) China’s trade data and bank loan total both less than expected..
7) China proxy Australia sees business confidence fall to lowest since Apr ’09
8) Japanese Tankan mfr’g index for Q4 falls to -12 from -3, the weakest since Q1 ’10.
9) European IP in Oct falls 1.4% m/o/m vs est of flat.
10) The horrific school tragedy in CT.