“Listening to the commentary over the weekend and last week, most people were saying we’d skirt a recession, but this causes people to question that thought process.”
– Steven Kroll Sr. (subscription required), Managing Director, Monness, Crespi & Hardt
Stocks were actually off to a good start this morning until the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) released its monthly report on manufacturing activity. The index of manufacturing activity came in at 47.7 – the lowest reading since April 2003 (readings below 50 indicate contraction, above 50 expansion). Also notably weak were their indexes for New Orders, Production, Inventories and Employment.
This was an ugly report and caught investors off guard. Markets tanked immediately upon its release (S&P Intraday Chart).
So, right off the bat The Question For 2008 looms.