Small Business Index, Chain Store Sales, Fed Speak and EPS News
Despite all the action in Europe, which of course has dictated global trade, this report covers the important U.S. domestic economic data and corporate information that reached the wire on Tuesday. Covered within, find summaries of the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, ICSC Weekly Chain Store Sales, Fed speak from members of the Federal Reserve and a slew of corporate earnings releases.
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.
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).
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