Where would we be without bits of random facts and statistics about the market?

Well, it's hard to say, but things would definitely be far less interesting and quotable. I have compiled a quick list of some statistics that have hit the Street today.

  • The Federal Reserve announced that outstanding commercial paper - short-term debt issued by top-rated corporations dropped 2.5%, or by $48.1 billion, last week to $1.87 trillion. Outstanding financial paper fell $32.1 billion, or 4.1%, the biggest decline in 5 weeks. Outstanding asset-backed paper fell by $15.6 billion, or 1.7%, the smallest decline in that sector since the credit crunch began in early August. From that peak, asset-backed paper is down by $253 billion, or 21%.
  • The Conference Board reported that the leading economic indicators index (a gauge of future economic growth) slipped by 0.6% in August, pointing to slower economic growth ahead. Just 1 of the 10 leading economic indicators was positive in August: the real money supply. During the past 6 months, the leading index has risen 0.5%, with 6 of the 10 indicators advancing.
  • The Nielsen Company reported that U.S. advertising spending for the first half of 2007 was down 0.5% over the same period a year ago. Network radio saw the largest advertising drop for the period, losing 8.5% in spending versus the first half of 2006, followed by local newspapers at 8%. The largest rise in advertising spending was for Internet ads, which jumped 23.2%, well ahead of the second-highest gainer - national magazine ad spending - which grew 8.4%.
  • Gartner announced that worldwide personal-computer shipments are still on track to grow 12% in 2007 and 11% in 2008. Gartner analyst George Shiffler said in a research note that mobile PCs and strong growth from emerging markets are leading the industry's momentum. However, Shiffler also said the sector will slow down in early 2008 as desk-based PC growth suffers payback for the growth it posted in the first half of 2007.