Purchase Applications up. Consumer Sentiment down. Initial Jobless Data Unclear.

Jobless Claims (week ended 11/17/2012)

New Claims –  410,000. Previous revised from 439,000 to 451,000
4-week Moving Average – 396,350. Previous revised to 386,750

Sandy created both job loss and difficulty in gathering data.  I don’t believe that much can be inferred from this report.

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 11/16/2012)

Purchase Index – Week/Week +3.0%
Refinance Index – Week/Week -3.0%
Composite Index – Week/Week -2.2%

The Purchase Index is what, for the most part, drives the economy and the slow, steady increase in home sales and the purchase mortgage applications which go with them are healthy signs.  Refinancing to lower rates also helps because lower mortgage payments leave consumers with more disposable income.

Consumer Sentiment (November 2012)

Sentiment Index 82.7. Previous was 84.9.  This is a survey index conducted by the University of Michigan of 500 households attempting to measure their predisposition to spend.

Leading Economic Indicators (October 2012)

LEI was +0.2% in October. LEI is a rehash of 10 pieces of data.

Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI increased slightly in October, the second consecutive increase. The LEI still points to modestly expanding economic activity in the near term.  Over the last six months, improvements in the residential construction and financial components of the LEI have offset weak consumer expectations, manufacturing new orders and labor market components. Meanwhile, the coincident economic index also increased slightly in October.”

PMI Manufacturing Index Flash (November 2012)

Index Level was 52.4 up from previous 51.3. This is another survey index.  Monthly questionnaires are sent to manufacturing companies asking what they are up to. These surveys are conducted by a company called Markit Economics.