I will be writing from my annual vacation perch in Los Cabos for the next few weeks as I re-charge the old battery. That being said,I will not have the convenience of providing and/or defining index values. I am typing from an iPad as I review the week’s news from the inbox on my iPhone. Thank you Apple.

Let’s take a look at the week’s numbers:

On Monday the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) reported a decline to -0.56 in October led by production related indicators. The index suggests national economic activity has been below its historical trend (0.00) for 8 months further suggesting subdued inflationary pressures from economic activity over the coming year. This is the 3 month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)

According to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, consumer sentiment remained strong in November, rising from 82.6 in October to 82.7- a five year high.

Last Wednesday the Conference Board announced its Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) rose 0.2 percent in October. The index has increased over the last year but the pace of growth has slowed recently. Mirrors the CFNAI-MA3……

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased slightly. Excluding transportation, new orders rose 1.5 percent. Overall shipments decreased 0.6 percent. Capital goods shipments fell 0.7 percent. Unfilled orders grew 0.2 percent and inventories increased 0.4 percent in October.

U S raw steel production was at an average capability utilization rate was at 75.9 percent last week up from 74.4 percent one year ago.

Things seem to be coasting in neutral. The current business cycle is about four years old and with the lack of support for business from the government, and by that I mean; over regulation and over taxation, we seem to be correcting moderately. So much depends on what our legislators do to eliminate or assuage the December 31 showdown. The president remains adamant on raising tax rates on the wealthy, the conservatives want to reform the tax code, eliminate deductions. As a country, we simply cannot continue to spend like drunken sailors. It’s does not need explaining, it requires a modicum of common sense.

Hope you all enjoyed a pleasing Thanksgiving. Enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season upon us as well. God bless America.