The economic reports this week were mixed with some positive news from the consumer side offset by further deepening of the downturn in U.S. manufacturing. Home sales eased during August, but have clearly come up off the bottom. Inventories are tightening and several measures of home prices are showing sequential increases. The Chemical Activity Barometer ticked up, suggesting that underlying economic fundamentals are improving; however, the CAB continues to signal slow growth ahead.
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