The worst news that could happen for stocks today was a Chicago PMI beat – after all it is becoming all too clear that the market is begging for a tapering of the tapering, and any and every bad news will be welcome. Alas, the Purchasing Managers Institute did not get the memo, and moments ago MNI-Deutsche Boerse reported (to subscribers first), that the January print was 59.6, below the revised December print of 60.8 but above the expected 59.0. This was thje third consecutive monthly fall following October’s jump to the highest since March 2011. The only silver lining for stocks was that the Employment component slipped into contraction for the first time in nine months, printing at 49.2, down from 51.6. Must have been the fault of that horrible polar vortex in January then.. Or Bush of course.
According to the report, “the Employment component fell sharply for the second consecutive month to the lowest since April 2013. The majority of companies said their workforce was unchanged with some of them reporting higher productivity of their employees.” And now we look forward to more baffling with bullshit from both ADP and the BLS, which are sure to also contradict each other in an economy where every print is now certifiably made up by goalseek-o-trons.
The other components of note: price paid modestly higher at 64.9 from 63.3, as well as Production, New Orders and Order Backlogs which also increased slightly, having fallen for the past two months.
Prices Paid rose to the highest level in more than a year as suppliers continued to request price increases.
Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist at MNI Indicators said, “Business activity continued to ease in January but remained at a relatively high level. Production and New Orders remained firm, and while Employment fell back into contraction, this doesn‘t appear to be indicative of current demand conditions.”
“There have been concerns that putting the brakes on monetary easing could damage business. Most respondents, though, thought that the Federal Reserve’s decision to begin tapering their bond purchases in December would not have a significant impact on their business”, he added.
Let’s refresh that in a month or so…