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Tough Start

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The global manufacturing slump has not escaped America where PMI was down for a second consecutive quarter. Interesting tidbits (although none positive) include:

  • Prices lower in December- aluminum, brass, copper, crude, diesel, resin, nickel, steel, scrap steel
  • Supply shortage- none
  • Higher in price – dairy

Plunging prices paid component has gotten over its skis with respect to being a ‘good thing’ and belie the notion the US has this massive deflation-resisting moat.

I’m watching some names climb off the lows of the session and think many could finish the week higher. While that manufacturing renaissance will not materialize under this administration, it hasn’t been slow enough to stop 72 months of economic expansion. But that expansion has been mediocre and there-in lies the challenge for the stock market and Fed.

Does this odd-ball flaccid recovery end with a whimper that would be barely audible to what we are getting now or could it morph into a real recovery that begins this year and picks up under a new president? That might be heady stuff for those simply hoping we get a moral victory of the Dow off only 200 points or so, but it is central to what happens this year- more so than action of the first day.

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