It takes more and more to surprise the markets at these levels. Today’s ISM non-manufacturing numbers were pretty bad, but the market couldn’t give a pig’s lick. At least not instantly, anyway. Stocks are barely off over 1% today, which is the new up:
Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in November, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee; and senior vice president — supply management for Hilton Hotels Corporation. “The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 37.3 per cent in November, 7.1 percentage points lower than the 44.4 per cent registered in October, indicating contraction in the non-manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased 11.2 percentage points to 33 per cent.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re seeing any kind of bottom or anything like that. Remember, even this summer there was already talk of having seen the kitchen sink of the economy thrown in. It just couldn’t get any worse. And then it did.