Push ups

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Three of the most reliable economic indicators came up short today.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,942, +33.9, +0.2%
S&P 500: 1,376, +3.7, +0.2%
NASDAQ: 2,965, +23.3, +0.7%

And now the top stories:

  • The economic data was all disappointing today.  Initial jobless claims unexpectedly surged to 386k from 352k last week.  Economists were looking for a more modest increase to 365k.
  • Existing home sales unexpectedly plunged 5.4 per cent to 4.37 million at an annualized rate in June.  Economists were looking for the number to come in at 4.65 million.
  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index improved to just -12.9 from -16.6 last month.  Economists were looking for an improvement to -8.0.  The most troubling component of the index was the employment index which plunged 10 points to -8.4.  All signs point to more disappointing jobs data to come.
  • Meanwhile, corn prices continued their unbelievable surge, breaking through $8.00 per bushel.  Corn and soybean prices have been soaring as historic drought conditions have crushed crop yields.  Michigan has really been getting crushed.  According to the FT, the world is bracing for a food crisis.  We found the most drought-devastated county in America >
  • Morgan Stanley’s Hussein Allidina thinks corn prices could rise to double-digits in upcoming months.  Even worse, he expects livestock herds, which live off of corn-based feed, to plunge at the highest rate in history. COWPOCALYPSE.
  • This afternoon’s big earnings announcement include Google, Microsoft, and Chipotle. CREDIT SUISSE: Here Are Our 27 Hottest Stock Picks In America >
  • Don’t Miss: NATURAL GAS: An Investor’s Guide To The Most Promising Commodity In The World >
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