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Too Many Numbers or is it Too Few

December 21, 2012 – 6:10 pm

stock_exchange_250x251A plethora of economic statistics were released last week: the jobless claims report showed an expected 261,000 clams, a small surprise of the final revision of 3rd quarter GDP coming in at 3.1% growth rather than 2.9% which was expected, the existing home sales report up 5.9% to 5.04 million homes, the highest since November 2009 when that special tax credit expired that year. Expectations were for 4.9 million and the previous month at 4.79 million. The new home construction starts were less than expected at 861,000 with permits for future construction coming in at 3% higher than last month at 899,000. Housing is on the mend though it is a slow tough crawl upward.

A surprise in the Philly Fed district report showed an increase to a plus 8.1 from a minus 10.7 the month before when it was expected to be a minus 4.0. This was a significant surprise and the new orders and order flow parts of this report were much stronger.

The Leading Economic Indicator came in at minus .2%. That number was expected. This report for November was down because of the fall in the stock market as the market corrected last month, the rise in jobless claims because of Hurricane Sandy and a drop in new orders from manufacturing all of which more than offset the gain in building permits and other stronger parts of the report.

We are not going to get a clear picture of the economy until we see statistics out in January for December and even then the fiscal cliff issue will influence all the numbers. It is a never ending study of numbers and more importantly the trend of those numbers.

Good Trading
Steve Peasley

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