Economic Data Are Cooling Off

Economic news, which had been coming in better than expected, now seems mixed at best. This morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released data indicating that consumers' incomes and spending for November barely grew and that aggregate wages actually fell. We also learned from the Census Bureau that for the second month in a row, companies are investing less in their businesses. And earlier this week, the Chicago Fed's composite of 85 economic indicators showed that growth is slowing and below trend.

Let's start with consumers, in the form of the Personal Income and Outlays report. Black Friday hype aside, real personal spending grew by just 0.2% in November. And that was possible only because consumers saved less, as real disposable incomes were basically unchanged. And aggregate wages and salaries fell by 0.1% in nominal terms. The savings rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, a trend that is unsustainable, as a healthy savings rate is in the range of 8% to 10%. This is especially true when you consider that Americans need to save for a looming retirement and that household net worth fell by 4.1% in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report....620 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.