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August 04, 2010 at 11:30 AM EDT
Trust Consumer Spending Data Over the Services Report
Consumer Spending data disappointed investors Tuesday, leading the Dow down fractionally, but stocks are up some today. The Greek tells you why investors would be better served following their first impression on consumer spending, and ignoring today's Non-Manufacturing Index from the Institute for Supply Management.
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Consumer Spending Data Rules
You heard this here before. The American economy has a consumption driven engine, and within that consumption, it is the consumption of services that drives most of the motor power. Well, the latest reading on personal spending, released Tuesday morning, showed American restraint, if not constraint, in spending in June. Without consumer spending folks, we are lost! However, this mornings ISM Non-Manufacturing data showed a gain in the services measure. So what's up then?
Personal Income & Outlays
Investors keyed on Personal Spending Tuesday, and so shares slipped on the day when the outlays data showed an increase of just 0.1% on the price adjusted measurement. The slight gain met economists' views for the same in June. Bad news resulted in the revision of May's spending activity though, with the month's measure revised down to +0.1%, from the initially reported gain of 0.2%. Considering April showed no change in activity, future spending is in question. We showed Friday, in our analysis of the Advance GDP Report for Q2, that the spending driver might be dissipating on persistent unemployment and fading government stimulus.
The spending measure is composed of durable and nondurable goods purchases and also the purchases of services. Durable goods met decent demand, increasing 0.4%, but the measure is volatile due to the high-ticket of items included (aircraft etc.). Still, the increase compared against a May decrease of 0.1%. Spending on nondurables increased just 0.1% in June, but that compared against a May decline of 0.2%. Purchases of services was the source of concern for the market, because this very important segment saw an increase of just 0.1%, versus May's gain of 0.3%. This comparison fits with the relative drop-off we have noted in other economic metrics.
PCE Price Index
The Fed's favored gauge of inflation is found in this report. The Core PCE Price Index is therefore closely followed. Core PCE was about unchanged (less than 0.1%) in June, versus May's 0.1% rise, stirring up concern for deflation. Some economists have been warning that the US may be precariously close to following the path of Japan's lost decade. That said, there is little standing in the way of Fed driven stimulus to economic activity now, and FOMC board members are openly talking about just that. Just a few months ago, the Fed's discussion was completely centered around exit strategy. Only Wall Street Greek was warning about premature departure. Economists were looking for a 0.1% increase in the Core PCE for June, but those guys are paid by investment houses to keep cash interests, where we are your street-level independent resource both reporting and analyzing for you, and in expert fashion (and for free!). God bless the Internet.
Personal income was about unchanged in June, versus the consensus forecast increase of 0.1% and against May's revised 0.3% increase. Income was impacted by fluctuations in the number of temporary census workers through the periods measured.
ISM's Non-Manufacturing Index
Reported as a positive surprise, ISM's Non-Manufacturing Index improved to 54.3% in July, from 53.8% in June. The result came against economists' consensus expectations for a reading of 53.0. Services are very likely seasonally impacted by hiring along America's beaches, mountains and resorts, and though this may be seasonally adjusted, we doubt it's capturing the change coming off significantly low and abnormal levels of activity. You're not hearing this anywhere else, and it takes out-of-the-box thinking to come up with this type of analysis. You cannot get out of the box thought from within the box shops.
Taking this into account, we are not at all excited by the very slight gain in services activity. Looking at the details, Business Activity posted a lower measure of 57.4, versus 58.1 in June. New Orders improved to 56.7, from 54.4, while Employment edged into positive territory, rising to 50.9, from 49.7 in June. Seasonal hiring characterizes the types of businesses we expect are driving much of these gains.
Take note of where the gains and losses were recorded. The 13 industries reporting growth in July based on the NMI composite index — listed in order — are: Real Estate (come on! this is highly suspect), Rental & Leasing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Management of Companies & Support Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Retail Trade (sure!); Information; Other Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Public Administration; Mining; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; and Wholesale Trade. The four industries reporting contraction in July are: Construction; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; and Finance & Insurance.
While Retail Trade is reported as an expanding sector, the report offers a warning from one survey respondent, "Concerning forecasts and the instability in markets are continuing our focus on cautiousness." We also suggest that the fact that this is a survey, where the results are known to be published, leads many respondents to favor an optimistic answer. In order to achieve successful results, one must look successful, and so we suggest respondents are careful of making negative statements and offering answers along those lines. Plus respondents are afraid to lose their jobs by answering truthfully. I have to handicap the ISM data because of this bias.
The corporate news wire offered the introduction of Research in Motion's (NYSE: RIMM) new smartphone. Rumor has it that RIM also has a product in development to compete against Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad. Abbott (NYSE: ABT) presented at the Wedbush Morgan Securities Life Sciences Best Ideas Conference. Corning (NYSE: GLW) and National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) met with investos. The earnings schedule highlighted news from Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR), The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA).
The remainder of the schedule included news from Accuride (Nasdaq: ACUZ), Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR), Actions Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ACTS), AGA Medical (Nasdaq: AGAM), Akorn (Nasdaq: AKRX), Allied Healthcare (Nasdaq: AHCI), Allis-Chalmers Energy (NYSE: ALY), Alterra Capital (Nasdaq: ALTE), American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS), American DG Energy (Nasdaq: ADGE), American Medical Systems (Nasdaq: AMMD), American Reprographics (NYSE: ARP), American Tower (NYSE: AMT), AmeriCredit (NYSE: ACF), AmTrust Financial (Nasdaq: AFSI), Approach Resources (Nasdaq: AREX), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM), Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA), AthroCare (Nasdaq: ARTC), ArvenMeritor (NYSE: ARM), Atlas Air (Nasdaq: AAWW), Atlas Energy (Nasdaq: ATLS), ATS Corp. (Nasdaq: ATSC), Avalonbay Communities (NYSE: AVB), Axis Capital (NYSE: AXS), B Communications (Nasdaq: BCOM), Balchem (Nasdaq: BCPC), Banco de Chile (NYSE: BCH), Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG), Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE: BIO), Black Box (Nasdaq: BBOX), Blonder Tongue Labs (AMEX: BDR), Boise (NYSE: BZ), Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM), Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD), BRE Properties (NYSE: BRE), Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP), BTU International (Nasdaq: BTUI), Buckeye Technologies (NYSE: BKI), CAI Int'l (NYSE: CAP), Calgon Carbon (NYSE: CCC), Caliper Life Sciences (Nasdaq: CALP), Cambrex (NYSE: CBM), Cape Bancorp (Nasdaq: CBNJ), Cascade Microtech (Nasdaq: CSCD), CBL & Associates (NYSE: CBL), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), Celera (Nasdaq: CRA), Celsion (Nasdaq: CLSN), Clorox (NYSE: CLX), Coach (NYSE: COH), Cognizant Technology (Nasdaq: CTSH), Cohen & Co. (Nasdaq: COHN), CommVault (Nasdaq: CVLT), CNO Fin'l (NYSE: CNO), CorVel (Nasdaq: CRVL), Credit Acceptance (Nasdaq: CACC), CTC Media (Nasdaq: CTCM), Curis (Nasdaq: CRIS), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Dean Foods (NYSE: DF), Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN), Denny's (Nasdaq: DENN), DexCom (Nasdaq: DXCM), DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI), Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCK), Dole Food (Nasdaq: DOLE), Dollar Thrifty Automotive (NYSE: DTG), Douglass Emmitt (NYSE: DEI), drugstore.com (Nasdaq: DSCM), Dupont Fabros Tech (NYSE: DFT), DUSA Pharma (Nasdaq: DUSA), Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON), Echo Global (Nasdaq: ECHO), Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), Emergency Medical Services (NYSE: EMS), Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), Enzon Pharma (Nasdaq: ENZN), ESCO Technologies (NYSE: ESE), Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR), Exactech (Nasdaq: EXAC), EXCO Resources (NYSE: XCO), FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH), First American Financial (NYSE: FAF), First Fin'l Bancorp Ohio (Nasdaq: FFBC), FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE), Force Protection (Nasdaq: FRPT), Forestar Group (NYSE: FOR), Franklin Street Properties (AMEX: FSP), Fresh Del Monte (NYSE: FDP), Gafisa SA (NYSE: GSA), Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR), Getty Realty (NYSE: GTY), Gladstone Commercial (Nasdaq: GOOD), Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT), Global Indemnity (Nasdaq: GBLI), GLU Mobile (Nasdaq: GLUU), Government Properties (NYSE: GOV), Graham Packaging (NYSE: GRM), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (Nasdaq: GLDD), Great Wolf Resorts (Nasdaq: WOLF), Harris (NYSE: HRS), HCC Insurance (NYSE: HCC), HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP), Headwaters (NYSE: HW), Health Net (NYSE: HNT), Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO), Hertz Global (NYSE: HTZ), Hudson Highland (Nasdaq: HHGP), Impax Laboratories (Nasdaq: IPXL), Inland Real Estate (NYSE: IRC), Innospec (Nasdaq: IOSP), InSite Vision (Nasdaq: INSV), Internet Gold (Nasdaq: IGLD), Inuvo (Nasdaq: INUV), IPG Photonics (IPGP), iStar Fin'l (NYSE: SFI), Itau Unibanco SA (Nasdaq: ITUB), j2 Global Communications (Nasdaq: JCOM), Jarden (NYSE: JAH), John Bean Technologies (NYSE: JBT), KAR Auction Services (NYSE: KAR), Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA), Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC), Kopin (Nasdaq: KOPN), Landauer (NYSE: LDR), Landec (Nasdaq: LNDC), Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP), Lear (NYSE: LEA), LECG (Nasdaq: XPRT), Lexington Realty (NYSE: LXP), Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA), Liquidity Services (Nasdaq: LQDT), LookSmart (Nasdaq: LOOK), Magellan Midstream (NYSE: MMP), MAKO Surgical (Nasdaq: MAKO), Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO), Market Leader (Nasdaq: LEDR), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM), Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI), Matrixx Initiatives (Nasdaq: MTXX), McCormick & Schmick's (Nasdaq: MSSR), MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU), MEDNAX (NYSE: MD), Mercer Int'l (Nasdaq: MERC), Mercury Computer (Nasdaq: MRCY), MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA), MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), Mitsui (Nasdaq: MITSY), Molex (Nasdaq: MOLX), Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP), Morton's Restaurant (NYSE: MRT), Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR), Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA), National CineMedia (Nasdaq: NCMI), National Financial (NYSE: NFP), National Interstate (Nasdaq: NATL), National Research (Nasdaq: NRCI), New York Mortgage Trust (Nasdaq: NYMT), NewMarket (NYSE: NEU), NICE Systems (Nasdaq: NICE), Nicor (NYSE: GAS), NiSource (NYSE: NI), Nova Measuring (Nasdaq: NVMI), Novatel (Nasdaq: NVTL), NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX), Och-Ziff Capital (NYSE: OZM), Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX), Oil States Int'l (NYSE: OIS), ONEOK (NYSE: OKE), OpenTable (Nasdaq: OPEN), Oriental Financial Group (NYSE: OFG), Orient Express Hotels (NYSE: OEH), Otelco (Nasdaq: OTT), Overseas Shipholding (NYSE: OSG), Papa John's (Nasdaq: PZZA), Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH), Peet's Coffee & Tea (Nasdaq: PEET), Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PEI), PHH Corp. (NYSE: PHH), Philippine Long Distance (NYSE: PHI), Pinnacle Airlines (Nasdaq: PNCL), Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE: PNW), Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), POZEN (Nasdaq: POZN), Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN), Primerica (NYSE: PRI), QuickLogic (Nasdaq: QUIK), Radian (NYSE: RDN), RAM Energy (Nasdaq: RAME), RehabCare (NYSE: RHB), Rentrak (Nasdaq: RENT), Republic Airways (Nasdaq: RJET), REX Energy (Nasdaq: REXX), Rodman & Renshaw (Nasdaq: RODM), Rowan (NYSE: RDC), RTI Int'l Metals (NYSE: RTI), Savient Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SVNT), Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), Sirona Dental (Nasdaq: SIRO), Smith Int'l (NYSE: SII), Smurfit-Stone (Nasdaq: SSCC), Solar Capital (Nasdaq: SLRC), Solarfun Power (Nasdaq: SOLF), Solta Medical (Nasdaq: SLTM), Sonic Foundry (Nasdaq: SOFO), Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS), Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR), SS&C Technologies (Nasdaq: SSNC), STAAR Surgical (Nasdaq: STAA), Star Gas (NYSE: SGU), STEC (Nasdaq: STEC), Steris (NYSE: STE), Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY), Super Micro (Nasdaq: SMCI), Superconductor Tech (Nasdaq: SCON), Tandy Leather (Nasdaq: TLF), Team (Nasdaq: TISI), Techne (Nasdaq: TECH), Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC), Ternium (NYSE: TX), Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW), The Pantry (Nasdaq: PTRY), Tollgrade Communications (Nasdaq: TLGD), TOR Minerals (Nasdaq: TORM), Trex Co. (Nasdaq: TREX), TriMas (Nasdaq: TRS), True Religion (Nasdaq: TRLG), Twin Disc (Nasdaq: TWIN), Unisource Energy (NYSE: UNS), Unit (NYSE: UNT), Universal (NYSE: UVV), Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI), Unim Group (NYSE: UNM), USEC (NYSE: USU), Venoco (NYSE: VQ), Vical (Nasdaq: VICL), Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH), W&T Offshore (NYSE: WTI), Wabash National (NYSE: WNC), Watts Water (NYSE: WTS), Web.com (Nasdaq: WWWW), WebMD (Nasdaq: WBMD), West Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WST), Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK), Weyco Group (Nasdaq: WEYS), Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI), WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS), World Fuel Services (NYSE: INT), XL Group (NYSE: XL), YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW), ZipRealty (Nasdaq: ZIPR) and ZymoGenetics (Nasdaq: ZGEN).
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ALTERRA CAP HLDGS ARTHROCARE CORP Abbott Laboratories Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Aeropostale, Inc. Akorn, Inc. AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. American Capital Ltd Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Apple, Inc. Approach Resources, Inc. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. Avalonbay Communities, Inc. Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. B Communications Ltd BRE Properties, Inc. BTU International, Inc. Baker Hughes, Inc. Balchem Corporation Banco de Chile ADS Bill Barrett Corp. Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. Cl A Black Box Corp Boise Boston Beer Co. Cl A Boyd Gaming Corp. Bridgepoint Education Buckeye Technologies, Inc. CAI International CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. CBS CNO Financial Group CTC Media, Inc. Calgon Carbon Cambrex Corp. Cape Bancorp, Inc. Cascade Microtech, Inc. Cedar Fair L.P. Dep Rec Celsion Corporation Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chicos Fas, Inc. Childrens Place Clorox Co. Coach, Inc. Cognizant Technology Solutions Commault Systems, Inc. Corning, Inc. Corvel Corp Costco Wholesale Corp Credit Acceptance Corp Curis, Inc. D.R. Horton, Inc. DENNY'S CORP Dean Foods Co. Dendreon Corp DexCom, Inc. DigitalGlobe, Inc. Discovery Communications Inc Series C Dollar General Dollar Tree, Inc. Douglas Emmett Dow Chemical Co. DuPont Fabros Technology ESCO Technologies, Inc. EXCO Resources Echelon Corp Echo Global Logistics, Inc. Electronic Arts, Inc. Emerson Electric Co. Entergy Corp. Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Evercore Partners Exactech, Inc. Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Felcor Lodging Trust, Inc. First American Financial First Financial Bancorp FirstEnergy Corp. Forestar Group Fresh Del Monte Produce GLOBAL INDEMNITY Gap, Inc. Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Cl A Getty Realty Corp. Gladstone Commercial Corporation - REIT Glatfelter Glu Mobile, Inc. Government Properties Income Trust Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. HCP HOT Topic, Inc. Harris Corp. Headwaters, Inc. Health Net, Inc. Hercules Offshore, Inc. Hertz Global Holdings HouseValues, Inc. IMPAX LABORATORIES, Inc. Inland Private Capital Corp Innospec, Inc. Intercontinentalexchange Group, Inc. Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd J.C. Penney Co., Inc. Jarden Corp. John Bean Technologies KAR Auction Services Kohls Corp. Kopin Corp L Brands, Inc. Landauer, Inc. Landec Corp Leap Wireless International, Inc. Lear Corp. Lexington Realty Trust Liberty Global, Inc. Class A Liquidity Services, Inc. LookSmart, Ltd. MAKO Surgical Corp MDU Resources Group, Inc. MFA Financial MGM Resorts International MOTRICITY, Inc. Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. Marathon Oil Corp. Marsh & McLennan Cos. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. Masimo Corporation MasterCard Cl A McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. Mednax Mercer International, Inc. Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. Molex, Inc. Molson Coors Brewing Co. Cl B Mueller Water Products NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. NYSE Euronext National CineMedia, Inc. National Financial Partners Corp. National Instruments Corp National Interstate Corporation National Research Corp New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. NewMarket NiSource, Inc. Nice Systems Ltd Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd Novatel Wireless, Inc. ONEOK, Inc. OPENTABLE Och-Ziff Capital Management Group Ocwen Financial Corp. OfficeMax, Inc. Oil States International, Inc. Orient Express Hotels Ltd. Oriental Financial Group, Inc. Otelco, Inc. PHH Corp. Papa John's International, Inc. Parker Hannifin Corp. Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust Pfizer, Inc. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company ADS Pinnacle West Capital Corp. Pitney Bowes, Inc. PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 Pozen, Inc. Priceline.com, Inc. Primerica ProShares Short Dow30 ProShares Ultra QQQ Procter & Gamble Co. QuickLogic Corp RTI International Metals, Inc. Radian Group, Inc. Rentrak Corp Republic Airways Holding, Inc. Rex Energy Corporation S&P DEP RECEIPTS SOLAR CAPITAL SONIC FDRY SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust SS&C TECH HLDGS STEC, Inc. Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Sears Holding Corporation Sempra Energy Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. Solta Medical, Inc. Sonus Networks, Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. Cl A Staar Surgical Co Star Gas Partners L.P. Steris Corp. Stone Energy Corp. Super Micro Computer, Inc. Superconductor Technologies, Inc. TOR MINERALS INTL Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. Target Corp. Techne Corp Ternium SA-Sponsored ADR The Pantry, Inc. The Wet Seal, Inc. Trimas Corporation True Religion Apparel, Inc. Twin Disc, Incorporated USEC, Inc. Unit Corp. Universal Corp. Universal Technical Institute, Inc. Unum Group Vical, Inc. Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. WMS Industries, Inc. WT Offshore Wabash National Corp. Wal-Mart Stores Watts Water Technologies Inc. Cl A Web.com Group, Inc. WebMD Health Corp. West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Westlake Chemical Corp. Weyco Group, Inc. Whole Foods Market, Inc. World Fuel Services Corp. XL Group ZipRealty, Inc. iStar Financial, Inc. kforce, Inc.
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