Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
Generally positive data sends the major averages into the final hour mixed after a volatile early session. The Institute for Supply Management New York regional index made it back into positive territory in October with a 1.9-point gain to 51.6 on strength in employment, current conditions and the 6-month outlook.
Productivity advanced 3% annualized in the 3rd quarter, this marks one of the best showings in some time, though the long-term trend remains negative. Unit labor costs increased .5% over the same period while hourly compensation advanced 3.5%.
A recent survey of Americans psychological well-being, albeit limited by Harris Poll, showed that nearly 2 out of 3 Americans were very upset and stressed about their personal condition and the state of the Union. Given what’s going on in Washington, the constant parade of selective mainstream media reporting that is on a par with black is white, up is down and left is right, I can’t say as I’m surprised. If the latest round of debt funded prosperity, unequally distributed as it may be, goes south and proves to be just another chimera, as they tend to be. All bets are off as it will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that debt does in fact matter a great deal and the idea that you can borrow your way to prosperity is a myth. A myth that will almost certainly feature Elon Musk of Tesla fame as its poster child amongst others along with untold millions of bankruptcies and foreclosures.