Investors were steeling themselves for a disappointing ISM Services reading for November after the manufacturing index missed the consensus on Monday. But the ISM Services Index came in much hotter than expected at 54.7% compared to the consensus of 53.6%. It was the 35th straight month of expansion.
The real story was in the sub-indexes, however, which were mixed.
The new orders index shot up 3.3% to 58.1% whereas the employment index sank 4.6% to 50.3%. It's likely the employment index was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Businesses WANT to believe in the recovery, however. ISM said that a majority of survey respondents exhibited "cautious optimism" about current economic conditions.
Can much be made about the ISM reports given Hurricane Sandy's impact on the data?
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