An August US manufacturing revival
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Back to the bull market
A new week, a new month, and all those economic worries seem so, well, old hat—so August. In September's first trading session, stocks finished in the green even with mixed signals on the U.S. response in Syria. But investors were enthusiastic about manufacturing, which beat analysts' expectations with its best growth in August in more than two years. The big number of the week, though, still to come: Friday's nonfarm payroll report. Economists think Friday's employment number will show 180,000 new jobs in August, versus 162,000 in July.
"U.S. stocks are up 17 percent year to date. They've been the declared outperformer so far in 2013. There's nothing wrong with a pullback here and a respite."—Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets
See, it's not just about distressed home sales
More good economic news: surging home prices. Data from the housing market has been somewhat mixed of late, but today's CoreLogic report was undeniably positive, with prices up 12.4 percent in the year ended July. Particularly significant were the solid 11.4 percent gains when distressed properties were excluded, showing that price gains are robust for ordinary sales, not just foreclosures and other distressed properties sought by investors. Still, many experts think rising interest rates will dampen price gains soon.
"Looking ahead to the second half of the year, price growth is expected to slow as seasonal demand wanes and higher mortgage rates have a marginal impact on home purchase demand."—Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic
Gen Y managers annoy bosses and coworkers
Looking to hire some supervisors? There's nothing like bringing in a young kid if you want to stir things up. Well, on second thought. ... many young mangers rub people the wrong way. Generation Y managers, who are 18 to 32, were widely seen in a new workplace survey as exhibiting an unusually pronounced air of entitlement, and were viewed as being primarily out for themselves. Other generations scored much better, and Ernst & Young, the consulting firm that did the research, said the results show a significant cultural shift, not just youthful self-involvement.
"I would caution companies from thinking this is generational gibberish. There is a real shift."— Karyn Twaronite, EY's Americas inclusiveness officer
Car borrowing becomes a better deal
Things are different in the car market. First, drivers have rekindled their on again, off again love of leasing. In the second quarter, leases represented a record high 27.6 percent of new-vehicle acquisitions. Dealers eager for sales have made lease payments lower than purchase payments. Second, banks are easing requirements on car loans, making 36 percent of their loans to subprime borrowers, up from 34 percent a year ago. With borrower defaults down, banks are trying to regain market share lost to car makers' financing operations. A record 84.5 percent of drivers acquiring vehicles in the second quarter financed with loans or leases, up from 79.7 percent in 2008.
"Manufacturers have enhanced their lease options, so leasing is often a better deal than financing with a loan."—Todd Skelton, head of AutoNation dealerships in Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida
Sandy outcome: rebuild or flee?
First comes the hurricane, then there's the government's response—creating a double whammy of woe for Sandy survivors. Thousands of homeowners in New York and New Jersey now find themselves in flood zones, thanks to new federal maps. That leaves them with a tough choice between mitigating flood risks by spending a fortune to do things like put their homes on stilts, or paying a fortune for federal flood insurance—as much as $20,000 a year.
"What we are hoping, though, is that [Sandy] has raised the awareness of the probability of this occurring again, and that homeowners mitigate their properties to become more resilient."—Bill McDonnell, FEMA official for New York and New Jersey
—By Jeff Brown, Special to CNBC.com