December 4, 2013

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Dips to 53.9% in November From 55.4%

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 12:50 pm

From the Institute for Supply Management:

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in November for the 47th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

… “The NMI® registered 53.9 percent in November, 1.5 percentage points lower than October’s reading of 55.4 percent. This indicates continued growth at a slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 55.5 percent, which is 4.2 percentage points lower than the 59.7 percent reported in October, reflecting growth for the 52nd consecutive month, but at a slower rate. The New Orders Index decreased slightly by 0.4 percentage point to 56.4 percent, and the Employment Index decreased 3.7 percentage points to 52.5 percent, indicating growth in employment for the 16th consecutive month, but at a slower rate.

Production and New Orders did fine. Backlog fell at bit to 49.0%, indicating very slight contraction.

Unlike Monday’s Manufacturing report, this one seems to better reflect reality on the ground.

November ADP: 215K Private-Sector Jobs Added; Oct. Revised Up 55K

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:45 pm

The roller-coaster ADP National Employment Report is heading back up again:

Total U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment: +215,000

By Company Size
- Small businesses: +102,000
o 1-19 employees +57,000
o 20-49 employees +45,000

- Medium businesses: +48,000
o 50-499 employees +48,000

- Large businesses: +65,000
o 500-999 employees: -5,000
o 1,000+ employees: +70,000

-By Sector
– Goods-producing +40,000
– Service-providing +176,000

This is clearly better than expected news, especially the upward revision to October.

Of course, as Zero Hedge notes, this revived tapering fears, sending the stock market down for a bit (as of this writing, it’s still down, but only marginally).

Bloomberg, Reuters: Admin Will Be Winging It With Subsidy Payments to Ins. Cos.; Megyn Kelly Nails Obama’s ‘The Law Works’ Claim

On November 19, Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a congressional committee that “[W]e still have to build the payment systems to make payments to issuers in January” for those who have enrolled in plans through HealthCare.gov.

On Black Friday, while almost no one was paying attention, Alex Nussbaum at Bloomberg News reported that “The administration is setting up a temporary process … (in which) insurers will estimate what they are owed rather than have the government calculate the bill.” Somehow, they’ll settle up (or “true up”) at the detailed level later. Tuesday evening, Roberta Rampton and Caroline Humer at Reuters covered this development. The Reuters item, which went live about an hour before Megyn Kelly’s broadcast last night, moved the Fox News host to treat it as her lead story. She gave it the serious treatment it deserved, revealed other shocking items the rest of the press has mostly downplayed or ignored, and nuked the entire idea, as claimed by President Obama, that “the law works.”

(more…)

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120413)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Be counter-cultural, Pope encourages university students

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 30, 2013 / 12:36 pm

During evening prayer with local college students on Nov. 30, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of remaining faithful to the truth in the face of modern ideologies.

“If you don’t let yourselves be conditioned by prevailing opinions, but remain faithful to Christian ethical and religious principles, you will find the courage even to go against the current,” he said in his homily at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“The fullness of the Christian life that God carries out in man, in fact, is always threatened by the temptation to succumb to the spirit of the world,” he cautioned.

“For this reason God gives us his aid by which we can preserve the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the new life in the Spirit that He has given us.”

“Dear young university students,” Pope Francis encouraged, “your willpower and your capabilities, united to the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in each one of you from the day of your baptism, permits you to be not spectators, but protagonists in contemporary events.”

He then acknowledged the importance of facing life’s many difficulties. “One can’t live without looking at the challenges, without responding to the challenges.”

But “God is more powerful than our weaknesses,” he stressed. “God’s faithfulness never disappoints.”

“There are several challenges that you university students are called to confront with inner strength and evangelical courage,” he continued.

“The socio-cultural context in which you are placed is sometimes weighed down by mediocrity and boredom. We must not resign ourselves to the monotony of everyday life, but cultivate large-scale projects, going beyond the ordinary: don’t let your youthful enthusiasm be stolen!” he urged.

Christian youth must find the balance between independent thought and fidelity to the truth, he noted. …

Go here for the rest of the story.