NASDAQ & Producer/Consumer Price Index News

September 17, 2014

Here is some economic news I’ve picked up over several days pertaining to the stock market and prices on goods around the country.

About 47 percent of stocks in the Nasdaq Composite Index are down at least 20 percent from their peak in the last 12 months while more than 40 percent have fallen that much in the Russell 2000 Index and the Bloomberg IPO Index.

Here is a breakdown of Producer Prices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for the 12 months through August, producer prices increased 1.8 percent after rising 1.7 percent in July.

Prices for services related to securities brokerage and dealing fell 4.5 percent in August.

Gasoline index fell 1.4 percent.

Prices for utility natural gas, chicken eggs, diesel fuel, electric power, and raw cotton also moved lower.

The index for potatoes surged 28.0 percent.

Prices for pharmaceutical preparations and jet fuel also advanced.

Consumer Price Index showed decreases and increases as well. I highlighted the bigger jump in food prices jumping with inflation.

Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent. The energy index fell 2.6 percent, with the gasoline index declining 4.1 percent and the indexes for natural gas
and fuel oil also decreasing.

Food index rose 0.2 percent in August after increasing 0.4 percent in July. The food at home index was also up 0.2 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.5 percent in August, the largest increase among the groups. The index for beef and veal rose 4.2 percent, its largest increase since November 2003. The index
for dairy and related products rose 0.6 percent, and the cereals and bakery products index advanced 0.2 percent.

Over the last 12 months, the food at home index has risen 2.9 percent, with the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs up 8.8 percent.

And finally, picked up an explanation on gas prices stabilizing or decreasing here lately.

The fall in the gasoline index can best be understood in terms of the increased oil productivity in the U.S. OPEC production continues to hover between 36mbd and 38mbd. BUT, non-OPEC output rose to a record 54.8mbd during July. Contributing to that record high is US oil field production, which is soaring and reached almost 9.0mbd in early September. The US is now exporting 3.7mbd of crude oil and petroleum products.

Hat Tip many sources

Illegal Immigrants Hitting Indianapolis Area

September 17, 2014

Spoke with an law enforcement officer I know today. Police officers are a great resource in detecting various societal trends because they engage with citizens in various situations.
I asked the officer if he had seen any sort of up tick in illegal immigrant activity since the border surge happening late last year. His response, “Big time”. He went onto state that his department were making contact mostly through traffic stops. The illegals have no driver licenses, identification, insurance and speak no english. He also stated that about the only thing they can do is tow their vehicles and send them on their way.

Indiana BMV Will Issue $29 Million in Refunds

September 16, 2014

After some legal depositions were taken of former state employees about overcharging,  the Indiana BMV decided to surrender and payback some customers. Here is more from the IndyStar:

About 180,000 Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles customers may be entitled to excise tax refunds due to their vehicles being improperly classified during registration, officials announced today.

Total amount of refunds may run as high as $29 Million plus interest.

Officials said the BMV has issued about 60 million registrations and collected about $3.4 billion in excise taxes since 2006. While final data is not yet available, it is believed that about 180,000 individuals were impacted by this miscalculation

Indiana Department of Revenue will issue the refunds. You can read the rest here.

Illinois: For Every Job Created Two More Went on Food Stamps

September 16, 2014

Via Illinois Policy


There are now over 2 million Illinoisans dependent on food stamps, and more than 1 million in Cook County alone. That means that one in five residents of Cook County depend on food stamps just to get by.

Top 10 Most Dangerous US Occupations

September 15, 2014

Via Carpe Diem


Doctors Take on Obamacare

September 15, 2014

Ran across this piece at Economic Policy Journal. Disturbing how bogged down our doctors will get in the future.

Dr. Mark Sklar writes:

The push to use electronic medical records has had more than financial costs. Although it is convenient to have patient records accessible on the Internet, the data processing involved has been extremely time consuming—a sentiment echoed by most of my colleagues. To save time, I was advised by a consultant to enter data into the electronic record during the office visit. When I tried this I found that typing in the data was disruptive to the patient visit. My eyes were focused on the keyboard and the lack of direct contact kept patients from opening up and discussing their medical and personal problems. I soon returned to my old method of dictating notes and pasting a print-out of the dictation into the electronic record.

Yet to avoid future financial penalties from Medicare, I must demonstrate “meaningful use” of the electronic record. This involves documenting that I covered a checklist of items during the office visit, so I spend 90 minutes each day entering mostly meaningless data. This is time better spent calling patients to answer questions or keeping updated with the medical literature…

To prevent physicians from prescribing more costly medications and tests on patients, insurers are increasingly requiring physicians to obtain pre-authorizations. This involves calling a telephone number, often being rerouted several times and then waiting on hold for a representative. The process is demeaning and can take 30-45 minutes…

To avoid Medicare penalties, I also must participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System program. Initially, this involved choosing three codes during the patient visit to reflect quality of care, such as blood pressure or blood-sugar control, and reporting them to Medicare. In 2015, the requirement will increase to nine codes.

Coming down the pike, but thankfully postponed from the October 2014 deadline, is something called ICD-10. This is a newer system that will contain about 70,000 medical diagnostic codes used for billing insurance. The present ICD-9 system has about 15,000 codes. The Physician Quality Reporting System and ICD-10 requirements are intended to benefit population research, but the effect is to turn physicians into adjuncts of the Census Bureau who spend time searching for codes—and to further decrease the amount of direct contact with patients.

The practice of medicine in the current environment is unsustainable. The multiple bureaucratic distractions in my day consume so much time that I have to give up what little personal time I have in the morning, evening and on weekends if I want to continue to provide excellent care during office hours.

Indianapolis Still Paying Off RCA Dome Debt

September 13, 2014

In 1984 the RCA Dome opened for business its primary tenant was the Indianapolis Colts. The total cost to complete the RCA Dome was $77.5 Million($176.5 Million in present day inflation adjusted pricing). The cost was financed by the taxpayers of Indianapolis($47.2 million worth of bonds) and The Lilly Endowment/The Krannert Charitable Trust($30 Million). In 2006 the city undertook building a new stadium where the Colts presently play today. In 2006 the total outstanding debt on principal still stood at $75 Million and scheduled to be paid off by 2021. Before 2006, the actual debt was supposed to be paid off by 2013, but through refinancing of bonds, it jumped to 2021.

The city of Indianapolis does its best to make access in researching debt it owes on things tedious to find. The most current numbers I could find were published in 2010 showing RCA Dome debt standing at $61 Million. With eleven years of payments left comes to about $5.5 Million in annual payments on an already demolished structure.

Investors make a lot of money off local governments through time in financing these short term adventures that politicians want. Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts presently play was built for $700 Million along with their new $275 Million Convention Center. This was financed over thirty years and once interest/financing charges are factored in, the combined project will cost taxpayers about $1.8 billion.

NOAA Reports Cold Records Broken in September Already

September 12, 2014

Cold air has rushed into America for the month of September. Below is what NOAA reported today and click on link for map of records

NOAA – 246 Low Max Records Broken or Tied From Sept 1 to Sept 10. Some records broken by 16F

Updated Federal Government Deficit & Debt

September 11, 2014

Washington DC political reporter Jamie Dupree released the current financials of the Untied States Government:

Budget deficit in August was $128.7 billion; total deficit so far this fiscal year is $589 billion

Current government debt is

Inflation at Indiana Cattle Stockyards

September 10, 2014

Obtained some pricing from a person involved with livestock being brought in and sold at a stockyard in eastern Indiana.

Last week top grade cattle were getting $1.50/lb when brought in for sale. Just six years ago same person said going price was around .50/lb.

Stocking up on meat this winter would not be a bad idea.


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