The US economic trend, after strengthening in late-October through mid-November, has pulled back from its recent highs in the last several weeks, based on a markets-based profile of macro conditions. The Macro-Markets Risk Index (MMRI) closed at 13.0% on Tuesday, Dec. 10, a level that still suggests that business cycle risk remains low. The current 13.0% value is well above the lowest reading for the year to date—7.5% in mid-September—and comfortably above the 0% danger zone. If MMRI falls under 0%, that would be a sign that recession risk is elevated. By comparison, readings above 0% imply a bias for economic growth.
MMRI represents a subset of the Economic Trend & Momentum indices, a pair benchmarks that track the economy's broad trend for signs of major turning points in the business cycle via a diversified set of indicators. Analyzing the market-price components separately offers a real-time approximation of
Energy analyst discusses the outlook for natural gas and oil.
Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst and a futures account executive at Chicago-based The Price Futures Group. He is one of the world's leading energy market analysts and a daily contributor to Fox Business Network, where he provides market updates and analysis.
HardAssetsInvestor: Natural gas has been rallying recently, and now it's at a seven-month high. Is it solely cold weather that's driving up prices?
Phil Flynn: A lot of it obviously is the cold temperatures. It's been cold, and based on the weather forecasts we're seeing, it's not going to get a heck of a lot warmer. In the next two weeks, we should see some substantial drawdowns in inventory. Having said that, yes, it is definitely the cold weather that's given us this dynamic move, but you don't want to underestimate the nonheat-related demand. There is demand