Weekly High Frequency Indicators: Slow Improvement Has Continued

Purpose

I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because while they can be very noisy, they provide a good nowcast of the economy and will telegraph the maintenance or change in the economy well before monthly or quarterly data is available. They are also an excellent way to “mark your beliefs to market.” In general, I go in order of long-leading indicators, then short-leading indicators, then coincident indicators.

A Note on Methodology

Data is presented in a “just the facts, ma’am” format with a minimum of commentary so that bias is minimized.

Where relevant, I include 12-month highs and lows in the data in parentheses to the right. All data taken from St. Louis FRED unless otherwise linked.

A few items (e.g., Financial Conditions indexes, regional Fed indexes, stock prices, the yield curve) have their own metrics based on long-term studies of their behavior.

Where data is seasonally adjusted,

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Wall Street Week Ahead: U.S. earnings improvement expected, but still a weak quarter

NEW YORK (Reuters) – While good business news has been in short supply, investors may take slight comfort in coming weeks from U.S. corporate earnings that are likely to be bad, but not as bad as they have been.

FILE PHOTO: The Wall Street sign is pictured at the New York Stock exchange (NYSE) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Analysts expect third-quarter S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 21% compared with the year-ago quarter, a big improvement from second-quarter’s 30.6% drop that was most likely the low point for earnings this year because of coronavirus-fueled lockdowns, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earnings reporting will get rolling next week with results from some of the big U.S. banks, likely impacted by near record low interest rates and the pandemic-induced recession. JPMorgan & Co. JPM.N and Citigroup C.N both

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Central Avenue businesses hang tight during pandemic as improvement project approaches

The Central Avenue business district in Jersey City has been a bustling place, with merchants encouraging foot traffic, staging art shows and car shows and other events.

Then came the pandemic, creating hardships for small businesses nationwide.

“Central Avenue businesses are surviving the best they can in the COVID-19 climate,” says Sanford Fishman, Central Avenue Special Improvement District president. “There are many seasoned veterans in our district that have been able to make due given the current circumstances. Many of our small family owned businesses have taken advantage of every government loan or grant made available.”

But, he said, it’s been a mixed bag. Central Avenue did, in fact, lose 16 businesses since the start of 2020 and the agency is anticipating several more before the year is up. At the same time, several new businesses have opened.

Some help is coming in the form of the Central Avenue Streetscape

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Lowe’s Gains From Home Improvement Business & Online Sales

Home renovation and maintenance activities have been gaining prominence lately, thanks to increased stay-at-home practices amid the coronavirus pandemic. The trend has been benefiting certain home improvement market players, including Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW. This apart, the company’s efforts to expand digital offerings is worth appreciating. These upsides were well-reflected in the company’s second-quarter fiscal 2020 results, with the top and the bottom line improving year on year. Let’s dig deeper.

Bright Prospects in Home Improvements Market

Growing inclination toward home improvement projects is quite visible in Lowe’s second-quarter fiscal 2020 results. Comparable sales (comps) for the company’s U.S. home-improvement business increased 35.1% in the second quarter, following an increase of 12.3% in the first quarter.

In the reported quarter, comps gained from sturdy project demand from DIY and pro customers across channels, product categories and geographies. It saw comps growth of more than 20% across all its merchandising divisions,

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