The bears roared into September following a gratifying August for these pessimists, with a massive 470-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But they could not fashion an early September encore, as the market started out to the upside yesterday and never looked back.
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which summarizes economic activity across the nation's 12 Federal Reserve Districts, affirmed that overall business conditions had continued to improve from July to mid-August. This summation was in line with expectations and relatively consistent with previous issuances over the past number of months.
Manufacturing activity slowed its rate of growth in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management, an Arizona-based trade group. On point, the group's survey on industrial activity came in with a score of 51.1 for last month. That was modestly above the dividing line of 50.0, which separates a growing manufacturing sector from one that is contracting.