Thursday, December 10, 2009
Eureka County Takes the AP Stess Test
It is 6:08 AM, have a cup of Thor's java and let's see how Eureka County is doing in the Great Recession compared to 3,099 other counties in the United States. The Associated Press (AP) conducts a monthly analysis of economic stress across the country and computes the AP Economic Stress Index for each county. Below is a link to their interactive map. You can click on a county to find out its stress score together with a host of other data:
AP Economic Stress Index Interactive Map
The Stress Index weighs three economic variables - unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy - to produce a score on a scale of 0-100 that measures how the recession is affecting a county compared to all others. Their latest data is for October of this year and they compare the recent index to October 2007, several months before the recession officially began.
The national average stress index score is 10.1 for October with Nevada having the dubious honor of being the "most stressed state" weighing in a statewide score of 21.09. Fortunately for us Eurekans, the heavy players are all south where the real estate collapse hit the hardest. Clark County registers 22.95 compared a lowly score of 7.93 for Eureka County. Before the recession Clark was a relatively mellow 9.24; Eureka, a sleepy 5.02. We're a little worse off than Elko by a whisker, 7.93 compared to 7.75, and were a little more stressed than our northern neighbor before things got bad, 5.02 Eureka vs 3.84 Elko. Of course they've got nearly thirty times as many folks up in Elko so our county's statistics are more sensitive to one family's duress.
If you want to take a break from all the hussle and bussle, head over to visit Whiskey Mike in Delta, Utah. Millard County sits at 5.07 now, roughly the same level as Eureka in 2007. Millard chilled out at a lower 2.62 in those days - I'm trying to remember when Mike moved over there, a good question for Eric.
In October the Report compared Eureka to Saginaw, Michigan to illustrate the resilience of a commodity based economy to an industrial one in these difficult times (Eureka Is Not Saginaw, Michigan). The AP Stess Index bears this out giving the automobile-centric Saginaw a score of 15.14 compared to Eureka's 7.93. Interestingly Saginaw and Eureka Counties weren't that far apart in 2007 when folks were still buying cars; Saginaw 6.30 vs Eureka 5.02.
There now, don't you feel a little better? Say, COMEX gold popped up nearly 10 bucks this morning to $1130, who says we're not the best little town in the country?
Enough stress test talk, let's walk the walk:
4-WD is OFF - the VIX or "fear index" remains below 25; smoother road market conditions expected (what's this?)
Yellow light is ON for possible adverse regulation/legislation: Cortez Hills & mercury emissions
Otherwise, all lights are green on the Eureka Outlook Dashboard (upper right, what's this?)
Oil is up $0.44 in early trading to $73.06 (January contract, most active); Gold is down $4.3 to $1139.1 (February contract, most active); Silver is down $0.032 to $17.775(March contract); Copper is down $0.0010 to $3.1640 (March contract); Molybdenum is steady at $11.15
The DOW is up 70.44 points to 10407.49; the S&P 500 is up 6.98 points to 1102.93. The miners are mixed:
Barrick (ABX) $40.92 down 0.87%
Newmont (NEM) $51.58 down 0.31%
General Moly (Eureka Moly, LLC) (GMO) $2.17 up 1.88%
Freeport McMoran (FCX) $78.10 down 0.34% (a bellwether mining stock spanning gold, copper & molybdenum)
The Steels are mixed, (a "tell" for General Moly):
Nucor (NUE) $43.59 down 1.30% - domestic steel manufacturing
ArcelorMittal (MT) $41.07 up 1.11% - global steel producer
POSCO (PKX) $122.59 up 0.90% - South Korean integrated steel producer
The Eureka Miner's Grubstake Portfolio is is up 0.20% to $1,249,290.79 (what is this?).