According to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, perceptions of the economy are highly negative, at 29% positive versus 71% negative.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index is an important indicator of the consumer’s perception of the US economy.
Consumer spending indirectly drives mall REITs. More spending drives more stores and lowers vacancy rates.
The “Empire State Manufacturing Survey” is put out by the New York Fed. The report shows that the economy is kicking into second gear. Firms are generally optimistic about the future.
Industrial production and capacity utilization are numbers that get a lot of attention from the Fed. These figures not only help forecast economic activity but also impact inflation.
The US Department of the Treasury increased the weekly auction amounts for four-week, or one-month, T-bills last week. The issuance was $40 billion.
The auction demand for 13-week Treasury bills (or T-bills) was almost unchanged from the previous week. The bid-to-cover ratio came in at 4.7x.
Despite unchanged issuance, demand for 52-week T-bills was weak. The bid-to-cover ratio fell 7% to 3.6x month-over-month—the lowest level recorded since December 2009.
Treasury yields are closely related to economic data. Bullish economic data tends to raise yields. This lowers bond prices and vice versa.
After trending to 14-year lows over the past two weeks, the four-week moving average for initial jobless claims moved up by 6,000 to 285,000 in the November 8 week.
The most important release was the monthly retail sales for October. The report is an important yardstick for consumer confidence and spending.
The monthly auction for 30-year Treasury bonds (or T-bonds) was held on November 13. Auctions are watched by stock and bond investors.
It’s important that investors are updated on Treasury (TLT) yield movements. Treasury yields are used as benchmarks to determine the required returns on other assets.
As an investor in the energy sector, you should know the relationship between crude oil prices and oil rigs. They influence each other—with a lag.
Oil rigs have a direct relationship with crude oil prices and production. The number of rigs in play will loosely follow prices with a lag.
Last week, the number of offshore rigs decreased by one to 52—compared to the previous week. Year-to-date (or YTD), the offshore rig count fell by nine.
In their 3Q14 earnings, companies that service rigs—SLB and BHI—were cautiously bullish about US drilling activities for the rest of the year.
During the week ending November 14, the US onshore—or land-based—rig count increased by four from the previous week’s count. The count was 1,876.
For the week ending November 14, 2014, the number of horizontal rigs increased by seven from the previous week’s count. Currently, there are 1,369 horizontal rigs.
Currently, there are 1,578 oil rigs at work in the US. The Permian Basin has 562 of these rigs. It has more rigs than any other region.