Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - December 1

Cyber Monday a Big Hit - According to Coremetrics, sales from "Cyber Monday" rose 13.7% from last year and beat Black Friday's sales figures - 24.1% higher.

Cyber Monday shoppers spent about $180.03 per online order, up 38.2% from the 2008 level when consumers spent an average of $130.24. Cyber Monday shoppers also bought nearly 10% more items than this year's Black Friday shoppers, and 30% more than during last year's Cyber Monday.

Pending Home Sales Index Rises - The National Association of Realtors reported that the pending home sales index rose a seasonally adjusted 3.7% in October from September - the ninth straight month of increase. The index is up 31.8% year over year and 6% from September. The index tracks sales contracts on pre-owned homes.

ISM Still Shows Expansion - The Institute for Supply Management reported that the ISM manufacturing index fell to 53.6% from 55.7% in October - still the fourth straight month of improvement though. Readings over 50% indicate more firms said they were growing than said they were contracting. In November, 12 of 18 industries were expanding. The new orders index rose to 60.3% from 58.5% in October. The production index fell to 59.9% from 63.3% in October. The inventories index fell to 41.3% from 46.9% n October.

Fed's Plosser Calls For Higher Rates - In a speech on Tuesday, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the Fed needed to start raising interest rates sooner rather than later and had to begin withdrawing excess cash from the financial system. If the Fed does not act soon "the inflation rate is likely to rise to levels that most would consider unacceptable," he warned. Plosser will not be a voting member of the Fed interest-rate committee until 2011. Plosser was estimating GDP growth to average around a 3% annual rate over the next two years.

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