November ISM Barely Beats Expectations At 56.6

The number:

Well… decent on the headline: 56.6 vs. 56.5 expectations. That’s also down fro 56.9.

But this is probably a bit disappointing to the bulls who were expecting something blistering.

It was kind of a meh number. Stocks are still much higher, but ticked down a little bit on the news.

The full announcement is here. As always, some of the colour commentary is interesting:

  • “Business continues to improve; however, rising material prices are eroding margin. Increases to the consumer are inevitable in early Q1 2011.” (Paper Products)
  • “International markets expanding rapidly. Domestic market is slowly rebounding.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “We’re starting to see capacity at suppliers become an issue.” (Machinery)
  • “Capital projects are being released, which is improving our sales.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “We are seeing increases in chemical prices that seem to be driven by supply/demand imbalance.” (Chemical Products)

Background: Here we go with today’s main event. Analysts are expecting a reading of 56.5 vs. last month’s 56.9.

This is one of those numbers where everyone seems to be expecting a “beat” thanks to a series of strong manufacturing reports from the likes of the Chicago PMI, Philly Fed, and Dallas Fed, not to mention all of today’s various PMI reports from around the world, including the UK’s blistering number.

Add in the good jobs data we’ve seen in recent weeks (declining initial claims; a strong ADP number this morning) and it’s easy to see why the optimism is infectious going into that number.

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