Meanwhile the economy still has issues that will make President Obama's life really difficult. The nation's manufacturers continued to cut back production sharply in October for the second straight month, reported the Institute for Supply Management on Monday.
The ISM index fell to 38.9% in October from 43.5% in September. This is the lowest level since September 1982. The size of the decline was unexpected. The consensus forecast of estimates collected by Marketwatch was for the index to fall to 41.5% as all regional manufacturing surveys were weak in October. Both new orders and production fell to their lowest level since the early 1980s. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. The ISM index had plunged in September to recession territory of 43.5% from 49.9% in August.