According to recent data gathered by IHS Global Insight, U.S. equity markets continue to fluctuate without conviction one way or another.

According to recent data gathered byIHS Global Insight, U.S. equity markets continue to fluctuate without conviction one way or another. Economic indicators remain generally positive, but the housing sector remains in critical condition and consumer confidence seems to be fragile.  

The New Year fortunately will ring in some further positive economic signs, as both December ISM leading indicators should point upwards. Payroll employment is projected to bounce back from a November slump, while construction spending, however, will pull back.

Results for Construction Spending (Nov.)

Construction Put in Place 
IHS Global Insight: -0.2%               
Consensus: 0.2%               
Last Actual: 0.7% (Oct.)  

Construction Excl. Residential Improvements  
IHS Global Insight: -0.2%                                                               
Last Actual: -0.2% (Oct.)  

Overall, construction spending is expected to drop 0.2% in November. Nonresidential and multifamily residential construction is expected to drop by 1% or more. Single-family residential should also drop, but by less than 0.5%. These declines will offset increased spending on infrastructure. This pattern, declining nonresidential and residential spending and rising infrastructure spending, is likely to continue for several months.

Results for ISM Manufacturing Index (Dec.)

IHS Global Insight: 60.0               
Consensus: 56.9               
Last Actual: 56.6 (Nov.)

Overall projections include a strong December reading of 60.0, up from 56.6 in November. Regional surveys - notably the big guns in Chicago, Richmond and Philadelphia - pointed to acceleration in manufacturing growth as the old year closed out. Consumer spending appears to be picking up, and that could well have led to some inventory reductions at the end of the year.

Results for ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (Dec.)

IHS Global Insight: 55.7               
Consensus: 55.5               
Last Actual: 55.0 (Nov.)  

The ISM index for non-manufacturing is expected to bounce up by just under a point to 55.7 in December. If cross currents continue to move in both directions, financial markets, employment conditions and business activity will continue to show improvement. However, if orders momentum remains modest, freight activity may take a step back after a couple of months of gains. On net, look for a modest gain in the overall index.    

For the full report,read here.  

Source: IHS