The ISM (Institute for Supply Management) indices have been uncommonly reliable indicators of the US cycle, picking up the smaller fluctuations as well as the bigger waves. They both ticked up last month. My feeling is that US growth has started to accelerate again. Not to boom levels, that's for sure, but better than the very sluggish conditions of the last couple of months. I don't usually believe one month's data, but QE3 (the Fed's plan to buy mortgage bonds) is a a positive factor. Talking of which .... have you seen how the 30-year mortgage rate is falling? And house prices rising? I'll talk about them in my next post.
The fiscal cliff lurketh yet, like the bad fairy at the christening.
(click on the image to see a bigger chart)
Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. But I can't by law give you advice, and I do make mistakes. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. Oddly enough, the expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would, or on the other hand happens more quickly than you expected. The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.
BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.