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Economic Barrage Slowing Down, Damage Done

There’s too much data from last week to look at all of it; we’ll just hit the highlights, starting with personal income and personal spending. The former was down 0.1% for September, while the latter was up 0.2%. Correspondingly, consumer credit levels were up by $2.1 billion…. the first increase in many, many months. Back to the norm of “spend more than you make.”

On the jobs front, the bigger trend showed marked improvement, even if the near-term trend slumped a bit over the last couple of weeks.

The ADP Employment Change of net +43K jobs coincided with the 151K increase in nonfarm payrolls for October….both well above expectations, and both the strongest showing in quite some time. Unemployment held steady at 9.6%.

More recently, the previous week’s initial unemployment claims popped to 457K (which is in the middle of the recent range of readings), while ongoing claims from two weeks ago drifted a hair lower to 4.34 million. Despite the modest panic, the new claims level isn’t all that remarkable.

The rest is cited on the table below.

Economic Calendar

As for the coming week, it should be much less hectic. Only a handful of numbers are in the cue, and none of them are earth-shattering. We won’t even bother with a preview; just look at the lower half of the above calendar.

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James Brumley is a freelance writer and registered investment advisor. He began his career as a broker with a major Wall Street firm, where fundamentals and long-term holding periods were core strategies. After that, he switched gears completely, becoming an analyst at a short-term trading newsletter that focused on technical analysis. He now manages client money using the best of both philosophies. His company, Bluegrass Portfolio Management, offers investors an opportunity to reap superior returns with minimized risk.