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Money Talk Podcast, Friday Oct. 12, 2012

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Landaas & Company newsletter  September edition now available.

Advisors on This Week’s Show

Bob Landaas

Paul Coldagelli

Steve Giles

(with Max Hoelzl and Joel Dresang)

Week in Review (Oct. 8-12, 2012)

Significant economic indicators & reports

Monday

No significant reports released

Tuesday

No significant reports released

Wednesday

The Commerce Department reported that wholesale inventories grew at a slower pace in August, a sign that producers may be trying to align their stockpiles with declining global demand. Inventories rose more than analysts expected, but sales also increased, the first such advance in three months and the most since February. As a result the ratio of inventories to sales dipped, which indicates manufacturers have better control.

Thursday

The slowdown in global growth showed in August’s trade deficit, which grew wider than expected. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that exports fell much more than imports declined. The net effect was a 4% increase in the deficit to $44.2 billion.

Statistical quirks in turn-of-the quarter data might have influenced a sizable drop in new weekly applications for unemployment insurance benefits. The moving four-week average for initial unemployment claims dipped for the second time in three weeks, according to the Department of Labor. The level of claims has been below 400,000 for 50 weeks, yet the labor market has shown only gradual progress.

Friday

Another indicator of a slowdown in the global economy is demand for commodities, which can affect prices at the wholesale level. The primary measure of that is the Producer Price Index, which rose a little more than analysts expected in September, largely because of higher energy costs such as gasoline. Still, fuel costs didn’t increase as much as in August, and the core wholesale inflation rate – which separates out volatile food and energy costs – were unchanged. Year-to-year core wholesale costs rose 2.3% in September, the lowest rate in 15 months.

Where the Markets Closed for the Week

  • Nasdaq – 3,044,  down 92 points or 2.9%
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 – 1,429, down 32 points or 2.2%
  • 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 1.66%,  down 0.07 point
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average – 13,329, down 281 points or 2.1%

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