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Morning Macro Recap: ISM & Pending Home Sales

November 2nd, 2009 Michael McDonough

The ISM manufacturing index rose in October to 55.7 from 52.6 in September, which was above expectations.  This was the highest reading for the index since April.  The prices paid index climbed to 65.0 in October from 63.5 a month prior. The employment index jumped to 53.1 during the month from 46.2 in September. The new orders index fell slightly to 58.5 in from 60.8.  The rise in the employment index was quite drastic and unexpected, and if confirmed by the non-manufacturing ISM and ADP employment report we could see some upward revisions to the consensus survey for Friday’s employment report.  Interestingly,there have only been three occasions where an ISM employment report above 50 coincided with a decline in payrolls, however, I feel pretty safe in saying this month will be the fourth occurrence.  Nevertheless, any job growth, especially if sustainable, would be a big positive for the US economy.

September’s pending home sales rose 6.1%, which is the 8th consecutive month of gains for the index.  The likely driver behind this jump is home buyers trying to sign contracts and close deals in time to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit.  On a year over year basis pending home sales are up 21.2%

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