S&P 500 Stock Prices

October 9, 2019 The stock market has been volatile throughout 2019.  Many economists worry about slower growth overseas particularly in China which is the world’s second largest economy.  They also note considerable weakness in the U.S. manufacturing sector...

Unemployment vs. Job Openings

October 9, 2019 The  Labor Department reported that job openings fell 1.7% in August to 7,051 thousand after falling 1.0% in July.  Job openings seem to be bouncing around from month to month at a very elevated level.  Indeed, there are far more job openings today...

Gasoline Prices

October 9, 2019 Gasoline prices at the retail level  rose $0.01 in the week ending October 7 to $2.65 per gallon.  In South Carolina gasoline prices tend to about $0.25 below the national average or about $2.40. The Department of Energy expects national gasoline...

Trade-Weighted Dollar

October 8, 2019 The trade-weighted value of the dollar, which represents the value of the dollar against the currencies of a broad group of U.S. trading partners has risen 4.0% from where it was at this time last year. When you try to figure out the impact of currency...

Corporate Cash

October 8, 2019 Corporate cash holdings rose $134 billion in the second quarter to $2.80 trillion (above).  At 10.5% they are significantly higher than their long-run average of 9.8% of non-financial assets (below).  The problem with this series is that every time the...

Producer Price Index

October 8, 2019 The Producer Price Index for final demand – intermediate demand  includes producer prices for goods, as well as prices for construction, services, government purchases, and exports and covers over 75% of domestic production. Producer prices for...