Midday Musings: Just Waiting on the Call
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose by 1.2% last month, its biggest rise since February 1996 and well in excess of the 0.8% climb forecast by economists.
Perhaps more importantly, the leading index has now risen for three consecutive months while the coincident index rose for the first time in five months. "This, coupled with a robust leading index, indicates that the economy, barring any unexpected shock, is gathering momentum," the Conference Board said in its
On Friday, the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) said its Weekly Leading Index slipped to 120.3 in the week ended Jan. 11 from 120.6 the previous week.
Nevertheless, the ECRI's Anirvan Banerji commented that the index's rising trend over the past three months is paramount and suggests the recession is likely over."We will probably make our recovery call soon," Banerji said in the ECRI's press release. He also dismissed the possibility of a
Crystal Is Not Really Your MotherBetween the Tyco (TYC) break-up, Kmart's (KM) breakdown, the Willamette (WMT)- Weyerhaeuser (WYY) nuptials (which sent shares of spurned Georgia-Pacific (GP) reeling), revelations of more document shredding at Enron (ENRNQ), plus various and sundry earnings reports, this morning's corporate news made anything on daytime TV seem bland by comparison. So much for easing back into things after a long weekend, eh? Speaking of which: To long-suffering fans of the New England Patriots, especially those who braved the elements at Foxborough, I salute you. To less-long-but-still-suffering fans of the Oakland Raiders, I suggest you call 911, because you got robbed.
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