Business activity is back as the Chicago ISM reported today its barometer rose to 56.1, the highest level since August 2008, from 54.2 the prior month .   And we all know how much of a difference 56.1 is compared to 54.2, right?  Oh yeah, we don’t, we just take the mindless commentary from Bloomberg/CNBC/www.Welivetogether.com (NSFW, so heads up) and assume it is up, so that is good.  Well according to Bloomberg, above 50 signals an expansion so we went from being in an expansion last month to still being in an expansion this month.  Whoop-de-dam-doo.  What they don’t say is that the magnitude of the expansion is similar to Herve Villechaize getting a boner.
But wait.  Consumers spent $30 less this year (around 8%)  shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend than last year.  Apparently people are only buying shit on discount, like well, like everything.  The consumer is still weaker than a virgin bloody mary and you know what we call a virgin bloody mary?  Shit.
Anyway, today has brought us more mixed news, but it is pretty simple to cut through all of the crap.  Business activity is picking up marginally because businesses cut inventory faster than Tiger Woods cut out of his house once his wife got hold of the 7 iron, so they have to do some rebuilding as the government stimulates the fuck out of the economy (much like a Haley Atwell and Faye Reagan threesome stimulates the fuck out of teenage boys everywhere).  However, jobs are still sparse and people are unemployed so they can only afford to buy stuff on sale or just not at all.  Therefore, inventories may continue to peak up a bit just to replenish what was shitcanned, but it is unlikely they really take off unless people get back to work.