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Weekly Indicators: Interest Rates And Oil Are Still The Story Edition

Monthly January reports started with the near-blockbuster employment report, showing 1 million jobs added in the last 3 months, a significant increase in wages, and a slight uptick in the unemployment rate due to a huge influx into the labor force. January ISM manufacturing was less positive, while ISM services were more positive. Motor vehicle sales declined slightly. December personal income rose, but personal spending fell. Construction spending rose. Factory orders fell. In the rear view mirror, Q4 productivity declined and unit labor costs rose.

I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because while they can be very noisy, they provide an up-to-this-week snapshot of the economy. The indicators will confirm a trend or indicate a switch in trend well before monthly reports, and are a way to mark one's opinions to market on a regular basis. I list the data and try to keep commentary sparse, so you… Read More …