Monday, December 3, 2012 – Still in the Woods and Other Economic News

Still in the Woods and Other Economic News by Sinclair Noe DOW – 59 = 12,965SPX – 6 = 1409NAS – 8 = 300210 YR YLD + .02 = 1.63%OIL +.01 = 88.92GOLD + .80 = 1717.00SILV + .22 = 33.76 Let’s start with the economic news. Business among manufacturers contracted in November and fell to the lowest level in more than three years. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of purchasing managers dropped to 49.5% from 51.7% in October. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. The decline in the overall ISM index largely reflected a steep drop in new orders but companies remained active fulfilling prior orders. Only six of the 18 U.S. manufacturing industries surveyed by ISM said they expanded somewhat faster in November. Nearly twice as many said their industries contracted. In the euro zone, manufacturers contracted for the 16th straight month, according to Markit. China’s manufacturing sector expanded slightly. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said spending on construction projects advanced 1.4% in October to the highest level since September 2009. The big economic news will come on Friday with the monthly jobs report. The best guess is that the economy added about 75,000 jobs in November, but that is just a guess; Hurricane Sandy has distorted some of the economic numbers. The fourth quarter of 2012 has clearly gotten off to a slow start. Consumer spending, by far the biggest source of economic growth, fell in October for the first …