ISM Data Suggests Business are Spending and Anticipating a Recovery

In spite of widespread concern over the state of the US economy, and those of Europe and China, as well, the three major indices, the S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE:DIA), and the NASDAQ (NASDAQ:QQQ) are down only slightly today.  The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose in September to 51.6% from 50% in August.  This means that 51.6% of respondents reported an improvement in business conditions for September, as compared to 50% in August.  This exceeded analysts’ expectations.  The ISM report reads, in part:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 28th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The report continues:

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 are reporting growth in September, in the following order: Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The six industries reporting contraction in September — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Following is a look at the stock price performance of one of these industries, the petrochemical industry.

Today’s gainers, in terms of percentage price change, include:

  • China Petroleum (NYSE:SNP): The shares recently traded at $97.01, up $1.1, or 1.26%, on the day.  About the company: China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) refines, produces and trades petroleum and petrochemical products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, ethylene, synthetic fibers, synthetic rubber, synthetic resins, and chemical fertilizers. Also, The company explores for and produces crude oil and natural gas in China.
  • PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE:PTR): The shares recently traded at $121.27, up $0.78, or 0.65%, on the day.  About the company: PetroChina Company Limited explores, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas. The Company also refines, transports, and distributes crude oil and petroleum products, produces and sells chemicals, and transmits, markets and sells natural gas.

Today’s losers, in terms of percentage price change, include:

  • Petroleum Development Co. (NASDAQ:PETD): The shares recently traded at $18.05, down $1.34, or 6.91%, on the day.  About the company: Petroleum Development Corporation is an oil and gas company with drilling and production operations in the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Basin, and Michigan. The Company’s drilling operations are focused on shallow Rocky Mountain gas prospects. Petroleum Development also sponsors publicly registered drilling programs and owns an Appalachian Basin natural gas marketing company.
  • Imperial Oil Ltd. (AMEX:IMO): The shares recently traded at $34.49, down $1.62, or 4.49%, on the day.  About the company: Imperial Oil Limited (Imperial) is an integrated oil company. The Company is engaged in all phases of the petroleum industry in Canada, including the exploration for, and production and sale of, crude oil and natural gas.

Today’s most active, in terms of dollar volume, include:

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): The shares recently traded at $72.24, down $0.39, or 0.54%, on the day.  About the company: Exxon Mobil Corporation operates petroleum and petrochemicals businesses on a worldwide basis. The Company’s operations include exploration and production of oil and gas, electric power generation, and coal and minerals operations. Exxon Mobil also manufactures and markets fuels, lubricants, and chemicals.
  • Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX): The shares recently traded at $91.20, down $1.39, or 1.5%, on the day.  About the company: Chevron Corporation is an integrated energy company with operations in countries located around the world. The Company produces and transports crude oil and natural gas. Chevron also refines, markets, and distributes fuels as well as is involved in chemical operations, mining operations, power generation and energy services.

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