Alton Steel to Add Coiled Product

Alton Steel will add coiled product, according to announced plans to invest $4.75 million in a Garret coiler, expanding its current offering of straight special bar quality (SBQ) bar. The coiler will permit a range of bar from .750” to 1.812” in diameter with coil weights of 5,000#. AMM

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey Reports Activity Increased in July

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey and reports Texas factory activity increased again in July, according to business executives responding to the survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose 11 points to 22.8, indicating output grew at a faster pace than in June. Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated a pickup in growth. Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again in July, with a sharp pickup in outlooks.

MNI Chicago Business Barometer Fell to Lowest Level in Three Months

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer fell to 58.9 in July from 65.7 in June, its lowest level in three months.

While marking the seventeenth above-50 reading, July’s fall snapped a run of five straight months of increases in business optimism. The fall in sentiment was broad based in July, though particularly concentrated across both demand and output.

MNI’s Chicago Business Barometer should be viewed in the context of the underlying, upward trend in business sentiment witnessed since early 2016. Key indicators, despite reversing their June reading, remain above their respective averages set over the last twelve months and point toward robust confidence among US firms,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

Midwest Economy Index Decreased in June

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI) decreased to +0.42 in June from +0.55 in May. Contributions to the June MEI from all four broad sectors of non-farm business activity and all five Seventh Federal District states, declined in May. The relative MEI moved up to +0.24 in June from +0.13 in May. Contributions to the June relative MEI from two of the four sectors and four of the five states improved from May.

What do the index numbers mean?

A zero value for the MEI has been associated with the Midwest economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; positive values with above-average growth (in standard deviation units); and negative values with below-average growth. A zero value for the relative MEI has been associated with the Midwest economy growing at a rate historically consistent with the growth of the national economy; positive values with above-average relative growth (in standard deviation units); and negative values with below-average relative growth.

Overall Economy Grew for 98th Consecutive Month

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its ISM Report on Business for July 2017 and reports that economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July and the overall economy grew for the 98th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The report, issued 8/1/17 by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, CPM, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, states:

The July PMI registered 56.3 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the June reading of 57.8 percent. The New Orders index decreased, the Production index decreased, the employment index decreased. The big picture is that of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in July.

What respondents are saying…

Orders are strong and quote activity is just as strong” (Chemical products)

In regard to sales, we had our best year ever. Demand still exceeds supply.” (Food, beverage & tobacco)

We are having huge sales numbers and backlog is growing.” (computer and electronics)

Business is very steady, but everyone waits until the last minute to order.” (machinery)

Six profitable months in a row. First time since 2007.” (fabricated metal products)

Starting to see better order entry and planning for a turnaround in 2018.” (electrical equipment appliances & components)

US Ferrous Scrap Market is Gearing Up for Robust Trade

The US ferrous scrap market is gearing up for robust trade, with sellers inspired by the prospect of increases in the cards while buyers are trying to talk some steam out of the market.

Sellers and buyers do agree the market is moving higher, but whether all grades will rise in tandem in each region remains to be seen, as well as whether prime continues to outpace secondary grades like shredded or if the reverse will occur in some areas. AMM

US Raw Steel Production Backed Up Last Week

US raw steel production backed up 0.2% last week as mills operated at an ACUR of 75.9%. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 71.3%. Thus far this year mills have produced prox 52,000,000 tons up from the prox 51,000,000 tons produced in the like period last year.

The Dow Industrials pierced and closed above 22000 this week, boosted by a surge in Apple shares, the latest milestone in a stock rally that has stretched into its ninth year.

US Census Bureau Monthly Advance Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Order for June 2017

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased 6.5 percent, the third consecutive monthly increase.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in June, down three of the last four months were virtually unchanged.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in June, up eleven of the last twelve months, increased 0.4 percent.

Scaramucci Come & Gone

Anthony Scaramucci, new White House Communications Chief…oops, not so fast, is gone after unfortunately making a fool of himself in a CNN interview. Good guy…but…

Mexican GDP Increased

Mexican GDP increased a more than expected 0.6 percent in Q2 compared to the first quarter. The economy, however, weakened compared to the same quarter a year earlier, from 2.8 percent in Q1 to 1.8 percent in Q2. Wells Fargo Economics

Venezuela Falls Apart

Venezuela is falling apart, a living testament to the ultimate failure of all socialist regimes. You know what they say…

At some point, you run out of other peoples’ money.”

Capitalism is the answer. Is it perfect? No, but it sure beats the alternatives.

Employment Rate at 16 Year Low

US employers hired at a healthy rate in July and the unemployment rate fell to match a 16 year low, a show of lasting vitality for the labor market. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3% from 4.4% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. WSJ

The Scandal that Matters

I know I reported on this last week however in the 8/4/17 issue of the Wall Street Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel, in an opinion piece titled “The Scandal That Matters” wrote the following (these are excerpts from the article):

Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport on July 24, attempting to board a flight to Pakistan. For more than a decade the congressional staffer had worked under top House Democrats, and he had just been accused by the FBI, of bank fraud…The family all worked for top Democrats, were paid huge sums, and had access to sensitive congressional data, even while having ties to Pakistan.

The media largely has ignored (Gee whiz Beav!) the affair, the ho-hum coverage summed up by a New York Times piece suggesting it may be nothing more than an overblown Washington story (go figure).

Based on what we know, the Awan story is-at the very least-a tale of massive government incompetence that seemingly allowed a family of accused swindlers to bilk federal taxpayers out of millions and even put national secrets at risk.

Mr. Awan, 37, began working for House democrats as an IT staffer in 2004. By the next year he was working for future Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Over time he would add his wife, two brothers, a brother’s wife and a friend to the payroll-and at handsome sums.

According to an analysis by the Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak, the family has collected $5 million since 2003 and appeared at one time or another on an estimated 80 House democrats’ payrolls…

House staffers claim most of the family were “ghost” employees and did not come to work. Only in government does nobody notice when staffers fail to show up to work (are you incensed yet?).

The family was plenty busy elsewhere. A litany of court documents accuse them of bankruptcy fraud, life insurance fraud, tax fraud and extortion (are you pissed off yet?). One document ties the family to a loan from a man stripped of his Maryland medical license after false billing. Capitol Police are investigating allegations of procurement fraud and theft. The brothers filed false financial disclosure forms, with Imran Awan claiming his wife had no income even as she worked as a fellow House IT staffer…this is glaringly shady stuff, in no way “typical” yet no one noticed (they noticed it, believe me. They are ALL self-serving crooks. DRAIN THE SWAMP)

Yes, it is weird that Ms Wasserman Schultz continued to shield Imran awan to the end.
Yes, the amounts of money and the ties to Pakistan are strange.
Yes, it is alarming that emails show Imran Awan knew Wasserman-Schultz’s iPad password and that the family might have had wider access to the accounts of lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees…

The government, under the inattentive care of Democrats, may have been bilked for ages (that is OUR money, not theirs) by a man the FBI has alleged to be a fraudster. That’s the same government Democrats say is qualified to run your healthcare, reform your children’s schools and protect the environment. They should explain this first.”

Did you know that President Trump has negated some 460 burdensome regulations since taking office. These moves are spurring growth, lifting excessive burden from business, creating jobs and helping to Make America Great Again!

Infrastructure X (Keystone & Dakota pipelines) Regulation Reform XX 1 in 2 out
Individual Tax Reform Entitlement Reform
Business Tax Reform Education Reform X
Healthcare Reform X rollback begun Veterans Administration Reform X
Rebuild our Military X Trade Reform X
Secure our Borders (The Wall) XX Lead the world from the front XX
Help for the poor Drain the swamp X as we speak
Peace through unmatchable strength Support Israel X
Destroy ISIS X Extreme Vetting XX
Conservative Supreme Court nominees XX American Jobs XX

I will track these campaign promises and will check them off as each is accomplished adding those I have missed as they become apparent. This is quite an agenda and will be difficult to achieve all in one term but I believe the American people are behind him and know these things need to be done. Now, if he can get our legislators to support him instead of fighting him….


Have a great weekend…. God bless America!

Buy American made products whenever you can, it’s good for you, good for your friends and neighbors and good for our country.

If you are hiring…try to hire a veteran…. they are loyal, disciplined, hardworking…and they deserve our support.

By the way, if you wish to comment on my rants or offer any other insights you may have, you are encouraged to email me.


In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag…We have room for but one language here and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”