NASDAQ & Producer/Consumer Price Index News

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

Beef Market Supply Dips Lower

The beef market supply is still low from the 2012 drought and supply numbers are still dipping which will only keep prices high for the foreseeble future. Here is the latest from the USDA.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, beef production came in at 2.09 billion lbs. That’s 9% down from last July. Slaughter totals are also trending down with 10% fewer cattle taken to the packer at 2.6 million head. However, live weights are moving up as feedlots and packers try to compensate for the loss of cattle. This July cattle averaged 1,320 lbs. when entering the processor, up 18 lbs. from last year. Overall red meat production was down 6% nationally. Only 3.91 billion lbs. of red meat was produced in this past month compared to 4.16 billion lbs. in July 2013.

From January to July of 2014 a similar drop off occurred with 3% less red meat produced at 27.4 billion lbs.

Price of Beef and Bacon Reach All-Time High

Per CNSNews.com 

The price of beef and bacon hit its all-time high in the United States in June, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In January 1980, when BLS started tracking the price of these commodities, ground chuck cost $1.82 per pound and bacon cost $1.45 per pound. By this June 2014, ground chuck cost $3.91 per pound and bacon cost $6.11 per pound.

A decade ago, in June 2004, a pound of ground chuck cost $2.49, which means that the commodity has increased by 57 percent since then. Bacon has increased by 78.7 percent from the $3.42 it cost in June 2004 to the $6.11 it costs now.

Beer Prices Hit By Inflation

Beer Inflation

You don’t have to be an economist to understand inflation is hitting at all levels over the past 7-10 years. The grocery store is a place where consumers can feel the pinch. Inflation just isn’t prices going up either. Another side of inflation is when the manufacturer reduces the size of the product and yet the price still stays the same.

In my household, we constantly analyze prices at the grocery store when we go to Walmart or Sam’s Club. Prices are going up and some product size is shrinking. The other night when I went to go pick up a case of beer at the local Meijer grocery I was a little shocked at the sticker sale price. Meijer is known as a fair priced grocery store and Indiana overall has stable pricing on various economic segments. The above picture is highest I ever seen. Beer prices overall have been going up in the last 3 years from my observation and if you Google the matter, you will see several articles over the last five years detailing rising beer costs.

Many factors go into the pricing of an item when it sells. Dollar value, taxes, regulation, demand or lack of, material cost, fuel, etc. I did a little research and saw some areas other than dollar weakness contributing to price increase such “hops” being down this year. Why I keep circling back to dollar weakness is because the craft beer sector has exploded which should affect the demand for typical beers. Countless sites have even stated Miller and Budweiser have lost sales over the last few years.

Just watch prices in your area and see the climb.

‘A War on Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed’

The Weekly Standard has picked up an interesting but not surprising quote from Daniel P. Schrag, adviser to the President. You can read the entire article by clicking here. Here is a block quote to back up my previous post on what is coming from this administration. 

“The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.