THE BASIS POINT

Improving Data: Jobs, Pending Home Sales, Manufacturing

Below is a roundup of today’s jobs, pending home sales, Chicago PMI manufacturing, mortgage application, and worker productivity data. Most of it is positive, which is better for stocks and slightly worse for rates. What we have is a tug-of-war between some good domestic economic fundamentals and whatever the effects of the EU crisis will be.

Jobs
-ADP Private Sector Jobs, November +206,000
-Previous was 110,000, Consensus was 130,000
-This will revise upwards expectations for Friday’s BLS Jobs Report
Full ADP report
-Related: Challenger Job-Cuts for November were 42,474.

Mortgage Applications (week ending 11/25)
-Composite Index, Week/Week -11.7%
-Purchase Index, Week/Week -0.8%
-Refinance Index, Week/Week -15.3%
-This data is of little meaning because of Thanksgiving

NAR Pending Home Sales, October
-Pending Home Sales Index 93.3
-Pending Home Sales Index, Month/Month +10.4%
-For homes entered into sales contracts expected to close in 60 days
-But remember 33% fallout on NAR’s existing home sales

Worker Productivity/Unit Labor Costs
-This is for 3Q2011
-Nonfarm worker productivity, Quarter/Quarter +2.3%
-Unit labor costs, Quarter/Quarter -2.5%
-What is troubling in the long term is the decrease in the past 3 years of Worker Productivity (GDP/hour worked.)

Chicago PMI
-Chicago area manufacturing index was 62.6 in November
-Above previous and consensus, and highest since April
-50 is dividing line between expansion and contraction
-Full Chicago PMI report
-Key notes from Briefing.com: “Whereas other regional manufacturing surveys have repeatedly shown stagnant or even downward-trending manufacturing growth for the past few months, the Chicago area has remained strong. This may be due to a heavy bias toward auto manufacturers, which have expanded production substantially since the supply shortages following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.”