Media Continues to Demonstrate That it is Uniquely Unqualified
The major averages enter the final hour with modest gains, with the NASDAQ on top today.
Another solid retail sales report and an upward revision to September renewed calls for higher interest rates. Certainly, the .8% October gain after Septembers upwardly revised 1% advance is impressive. That said the average monthly retails sales gain for 2016 is +.35%, in the 3rd quarter this average reached +.37%, the 1st month of the 4th quarter is of course +.8%. Decent numbers true but a basis for the economy is taking off, hardly. Of course that didn’t stop the pundits from running with it and referencing the various real time economic growth estimates of 3 odd percent, that I’ll note of late start out the quarter high only to get cut significantly as time goes by, so if you ask me it’s just another round of cheerleading by a uniquely unqualified lamestream media.
The New York Fed’s regional index jumped 8 points in November to +1.5 handily beating expectations as the index went positive for the first time in 4-months on strength in new orders and shipments. Employment data remained decidedly negative.
Import prices rose .5% in October as the year ago rate improved to -.2%, no surprise given the large gains in energy prices that month. Export prices advanced .2% for the month but remain negative on a year ago basis at -1.1%.
Rounding out the day’s data, business inventories advanced .1% in September, ex autos and inventories were unchanged. On a year ago basis inventories are up .6% over all the slight miss to expectations on the topline figure and tepid numbers mean little one way or the other.