Since 'earnings season' began in early October we have had a month of reasonably OK news. Corporate earnings were generally better than expected, giving the stock markets some lift. US consumer continue to spend more than expected. Money supply (M3) rose last week after several weeks of small declines, and today's unemployment claims were the lowest since April. Building permits for apartments reached their highest level in three years. October employment rose slightly, not real good news but better than some thought it would be. Industrial production rose .7% in October, more than expected and better than August and September. As usual, not all the news is good. M3 money supply remains stubbornly below 15 trillion, with little direction. News from Europe remains gloomy, and with little actual informational content about the state of European economies. The single-family housing market continues to struggle. The financial sector faces continued challenges.
What is interesting is that the economy continues to show a little bit of resilience, even after fiscal stimulus has ended, after monetary policy failed to expand broad money supply significantly, and in the face of headwinds such as Europe, contractions in financial jobs and increasing pressures on state and local governments to cut jobs.