Friday, August 14, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - August 14

Industrial Output Rises - With the auto sector "kicking into gear," industrial output rose in July for the first time since October 2008 according to a report from the Federal Reserve. The seasonally adjusted output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.5% in July after a 0.4% decline in June. Output is down 13.1% in the past year. It was only the second increase in industrial production since the recession began in December 2007. Capacity utilization increased to 68.5% from a record-low 68.1% in June. The gain in industrial output in July was entirely due to increased motor vehicle production, which jumped 20.1%.

Consumer Price Index Remains Unchanged - The Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged in July after seasonal adjustments, and the CPI is down 2.1% year-over-year in the sharpest annual decline since 1950. For July, energy prices fell 0.4%, and food prices fell 0.3%, while prices rose for goods such as new vehicles, tobacco, medical care and apparel. The core CPI, which excludes often-volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.1% in July, matching analysts' expectations. Additionally, shelter prices in July fell 0.2%, the largest decline since 1982, while prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs fell 1.3%, the largest decline since 1979. In June the overall CPI rose 0.7%, while the core gained 0.2%.

Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early August - The joint Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly fell in early August to 63.2 from 66.0 in July. It is the lowest reading since March.

Gasoline Prices Edge Up Slightly - The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report has shown the gasoline prices have started to creep up over the past week. The National average is current $2.647 versus last week - $2.628, one month ago - $2.504, and one year ago - $3.778. Georgia has fared a bit better with the current average at $2.486 versus last week - $2.471, one month ago - $2.343, and one year ago - $3.713.

Dole Foods Ready for an IPO - Dole Food Co. said Friday that it has filed with the SEC for a a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. The number of shares, the allocation of shares to be sold and the price range have not yet been determined. Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint book running managers for the offering. Dole intends to apply to list the common stock on The NYSE under the ticker symbol "DOLE."

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