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Doug Short

Doug Short

My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I'm a first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke and a lifelong interest in economics and finance. In 2011 my website was acquired by Advisor Perspectives.

Articles by Doug Short

S&P 500 Snapshot: Up 2.3% YTD

2 days ago

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The S&P 500 ended Friday down just 0.3% from Thursday’s close. The index is also just 0.3% below its record close and is up 2.27% YTD.

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America’s Driving Habits as of November 2020

2 days ago

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"Travel on all roads and streets changed by -11.1% (-28.9 billion vehicle miles) for November 2020 as compared with November 2019. Travel for the month is estimated to be 231.6 billion vehicle miles." The 12-month moving average was down 1.01% month-over-month and down 12.5% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) was down 1.07% month-over-month and down 12.8% year-over-year.

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Existing-Home Sales in 2020 Highest Since 2006

2 days ago

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This morning’s release of the December Existing-Home Sales showed that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million units from the previous month’s revised 6.71 million. The Investing.com consensus was for 6.55 million. The latest number represents a 0.7% increase from the previous month.

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ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update: WLI Highest Since Jan 2020

2 days ago

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This morning’s release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts the WLI at 150.4, up 3.7 from the previous week and its highest since January 2020. The WLIg is at 17.7, up from last week and the WLI YoY is at -1.22, also up from last week.

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New Residential Housing Starts at 1.67M in December

3 days ago

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The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for December new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.669M was above the Investing.com forecast of 1.560M and an increase from the previous month’s revised 1.578M.

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New Residential Building Permits: Up Another 4.5% in December

3 days ago

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The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for December new residential building permits. The latest reading of 1.709M was up 4.5% from the November reading and is above the Investing.com forecast of 1.604M.

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Philly Fed Mfg Index: Continued Growth in January

3 days ago

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The latest Manufacturing Index came in at 26.5, up 17.4 from last month’s 9.1. The 3-month moving average came in at 18.8, up from 18.1 last month. Since this is a diffusion index, negative readings indicate contraction, positive ones indicate expansion. The Six-Month Outlook came in at 52.8, up 9.7 from the previous month’s 43.1.

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S&P 500 Snapshot: New President, New High

4 days ago

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The S&P 500 opened Inauguration Day above yesterday’s close and rose for the rest of the day. Clearly, the inauguration of the 46th President Joseph Biden did not shake the markets negatively – a new president, another new high.

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NAHB Housing Market Index: Drop in December, Builder Sentiment Still High

4 days ago

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook. The latest reading of 83 is down 3 from last month’s 86.

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Weekly Gasoline Prices: WTIC Up Another 1.4%

4 days ago

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As of January 18, the price of Regular and Premium were up six and five cents each, respectively, from the previous week. According to GasBuddy.com, California has the highest average price for Regular at $3.33 and Mississippi has the cheapest at $2.06. The WTIC end of day (January 19) spot price closed at 52.98, up 1.4% from the last week and its highest since February 2020.

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World Markets Update: January 19, 2021

5 days ago

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All eight indexes on our world watch list posted gains through January 19, 2021. The top performer is Hong Kong’s Hang Seng with a gain of 8.85%, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 is in second is with a gain of 4.33% and London’s FTSE 100 is in third with a gain of 3.91%. Coming in last is Germany’s DAXK with a gain of 0.70%.

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ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update

9 days ago

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This morning’s release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts the WLI at 146.4, up 0.3 from the previous week. The WLIg is at 16.3, up from last week and the WLI YoY is at -1.44, down from last week.

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Retail Sales Down 0.7% in December, Worse Than Forecast

9 days ago

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The Census Bureau’s Advance Retail Sales Report for December was released this morning. Headline sales came in at -0.7% month-over-month to one decimal and was below the Investing.com forecast of -0.2%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at -1.4% MoM.

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November Producer Price Index: Core Final Demand Up 0.2% MoM

9 days ago

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This morning’s release of the November Producer Price Index (PPI) for Final Demand was at 0.1% month-over-month seasonally adjusted, down from a 0.3% increase last month. It is at 0.8% year-over-year, up from 0.5% last month, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Core Final Demand (less food and energy) came in at 0.1% MoM, unchanged from the previous month and is up 1.4% YoY NSA. Investing.com MoM consensus forecasts were for 0.2% headline and 0.2% core.

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Empire State Mfg Survey: Little Changed In January

9 days ago

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This morning we got the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The diffusion index for General Business Conditions at 3.5 was a decrease of 1.4 from the previous month’s 4.9. The Investing.com forecast was for a reading of 6.0.

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Middle-Class Wages in December 2020: Where Are We Now?

10 days ago

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We’ve updated this series to include the December release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the monthly employment update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $42,904, down 5.8% from 45-plus years ago.

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Long-Term Look at the CPI

10 days ago

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The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released yesterday morning puts the year-over-year inflation rate at 1.36%. It is below the 3.76% average since the end of the Second World War and below its 10-year moving average, now at 1.73%.

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Inflation: An X-Ray View of the Components

10 days ago

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Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. Also included are the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation. We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components.

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U.S. Workforce: December 2020 Update

11 days ago

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We’ve updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last Friday’s Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at -140K.

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Inside the Consumer Price Index: December 2020

11 days ago

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Let’s do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best-known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U.

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Demographic Trends for the 50-and-Older Work Force

11 days ago

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Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last Friday’s Employment Report. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.

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