December's ISM (Institute of Supply Management) reported the weakest reading in almost 5 years. This reports measures factory orders and is seen as a way to understand the strength of the manufacturing sector of the economy. Its weakness is a sign of economic decline, and suggests movement towards recession.

 

The Federal Reserve released its last FOMC minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday. The minutes revealed that there was no objection within the members to cut rates, and furthermore that many members felt that further cuts may be necessary to prevent further deterioration in the housing sector.

 

Finally, today's December Employment report showed both a higher than expected unemployment rate but also a much lower than expected rate of new job creation.

Published on January 4, 2008