Small Business Confidence
The NFIB’s November Small Business Optimism Index was reported yesterday. The small business sentiment measure improved 1.3 points, to a mark of 90.2, but remained in territory reflecting misery. The NFIB attributed the improvement to “less bad news” in November, and commented on the weakness of this driver.
Closer inspection of the report shows much of the gain came in a component that measures how many businessmen “Expect the Economy to Improve.” That component, however, only signified that fewer people expected the economy to deteriorate, where the majority of opinions lie. The reading for November still compares poorly to recent times, as the year-to-date average for the figure is 91.1. Marking back to the average since January of 2009 (89.1), this latest result is only marginally better.
Chain Store Sales
Weekly same-store sales, as measured by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), gained another 1.0% in the week ending November 5, 2011. This followed its recovery of 0.7% over the prior week, which offset the preceding decline of 0.8%. On an annual basis, sales rose 2.7% last week, following the 3.0% gain the week before. Thus, taking inflation and population growth into account, you have very little growth in consumer spending indicated.
A couple of Fed speakers addressed groups Tuesday. Narayana Kocherlakota gave a speech entitled, “Looking Back at Four Years of Federal Reserve Actions.” Charles Plosser discussed, “Strengthening Our Monetary Policy Framework Through Commitment, Credibility and Communication.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held a round table on uncertainty in financial statements. Meanwhile, the New York Society of Security Analysts held a commodities forum.
The corporate wire had the CEO of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Larry Ellison, testifying about the alleged software theft by SAP (NYSE: SAP). There were analyst meetings by Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) and Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE).
The EPS schedule included news from International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT), Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE: IFF), 1st Century Bancshares (Nasdaq: FCTY), AAON (Nasdaq: AAON), Aastrom Biosciences (Nasdaq: ASTM), Accuray (Nasdaq: ARAY), Acelrx Pharma (Nasdaq: ACRX), Achillion Pharma (Nasdaq: ACHN), Actions Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ACTS), AerCap (NYSE: AER), Alexander & Baldwin (Nasdaq: ALEX), Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), AeroCentury (AMEX: ACY), Aircastle (NYSE: AYR), Alaska Communications (Nasdaq: ALSK), Albany Molecular (Nasdaq: AMRI), Alliance Healthcare (NYSE: AIQ), Allied Healthcare Products (Nasdaq: AHPI), Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN), Ambient (Nasdaq: AMBT), AMCON Dist. (AMEX: DIT), American Assets Trust (NYSE: AAT), American Electric Tech (Nasdaq: AETI), Amerigas Partners (NYSE: APU), Amdocs (NYSE: DOX), Amerigon (Nasdaq: ARGN), Andersons (Nasdaq: ANDE), Antares Pharma (AMEX: AIS), Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE), Caribou Coffee (Nasdaq: CBOU), Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV), China Automotive (Nasdaq: CAAS), China Biologic (Nasdaq: CBPO), China Grentech (Nasdaq: GRRF), China Info Technology (Nasdaq: CNIT), Chindex (Nasdaq: CHDX), Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE), Cobra Electronics (Nasdaq: COBR), Coca Cola Bottling (Nasdaq: COKE), Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP), Exide (Nasdaq: XIDE), Fossil (Nasdaq: FOSL), Fuel Tech (Nasdaq: FTEK), Global Cash Access (NYSE: GCA), Globecomm (Nasdaq: GCOM), Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL), Liberty Interactive (Nasdaq: LINTA), Lifetime Brands (Nasdaq: LCUT), Middleby (Nasdaq: MIDD), Miller Industries (NYSE: MLR), Natural Gas Services (NYSE: NGS), Neenah Paper (NYSE: NP), PC Mall (Nasdaq: MALL), Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN), Pokertek (Nasdaq: PTEK), Satcon Technology (Nasdaq: SATC), Scotts Miracle Grow (NYSE: SMG), SINA (Nasdaq: SINA), Supreme Industries (NYSE: STS), Take Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO), Universal Panel (Nasdaq: PANL), Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW), Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZEBR) and many more.
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