Economic Data

This week includes a heavy calendar of economic data to kick off the new year, and provides investors indications as to where the economy is headed.  First up today was the ISM manufacturing index, which printed at 50.7, barely beating expectations of 50.5 and just a hair into the expansionary side of this measure (below 50 is contractionary).  This is followed, tomorrow, by MBA mortgage applications, ADP employment, initial jobless claims and a report by retailers on December same store sales figures.  On Friday, the nonfarm payrolls figure and unemployment rate will be reported along with average hourly earnings, factory orders and the ISM non-manufacturing index.  Expectations for unemployment are no change, nonfarm payrolls are also expected to continue around the +150k level while initial jobless claims are expected to be at 350k.  The same store sales numbers from retailers are expected to be weak, and according to Deutsche Bank many large retailers are expected to guide down their 4Q12 earnings estimates.  Economic data has been, and is expected to continue to be, very modestly positive as the U.S. continues a slow recovery.  At SNW, we're still waiting for signs of robust employment, and/or wage growth or inflationary pressure on rates, to change our current duration strategy targets.