More Positive Data Out of the UK

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Today’s better than expected Retail Sales data follows a number of other positive releases:Will the improvements in employment, consumer confidence, house prices, and the Markit manufacturing survey be reflected in next week’s GDP release?Data for Q3 will be updated on Friday, October 25th:

Will the Boom-Bust Barometer Bounce?

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The Boom-Bust Barometer (Commodity Prices/Unemployment Claims) has had a very high correlation with stock prices over the past decade. The rise in unemployment claims has driven it lower. We will wait to see if the end of the government shutdown will bring unemployment claims back down. It was only modestly lower this week (-15k).

What is Dr. Copper Telling Us?

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We track the relative performance of the cyclical sectors (consumer discretionary, financial, energy, industrial, materials, technology) compared to the counter-cyclical sectors (consumer staples, health care, telecom, utilities) to gain an insight into leadership within the equity markets. Usually copper–the metal with a Ph.D in Economics–moves in synch with the relative outperformance of the cyclicals.

US Econ Chart of the Day

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The NAHB Housing Market Index ticket down from 57 to 55 in October. However, the index has shown a surprisingly strong negative correlation with the Unemployment Rate (Index goes up, Unemployment rate goes down). This relationship would suggest that the unemployment rate continues to fall over the next 18 months.