Manufacturing and corporate profits are both in recession mode, even though the rest of the U.S. economy continues to limp along.
The latest confirmation of troubles came Monday with the Empire State manufacturing index, a gauge of New York activity that clearly shows contraction in the sector.
The November reading of -10.74 was actually a modest improvement improvement over October's -11.36, but reflects a decline that began in September 2014, when the measure peaked at a 27.54, at that point the highest since October 2009. The numbers represent the percentage change in conditions from the previous month.
Collectively, the readings over the past month indicate the worst manufacturing climate since March 2009, just as the economy was escaping the throes of the Great Recession and the same month in which the stock market hit a bottom that paved the way for a more than 200 percent recovery in the .