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Is The Recession Over?

On Monday the latest economic data seemed to suggest what so many investors are whispering -- the recession is over.

Specifically, the data showed U.S. manufacturing activity hit its highest level in 3-1/2 years suggesting brisk growth in the fourth quarter and perhaps even an improvement in the labor market.

"These numbers are going to get people more confident in the recovery. ... They tend to argue for forward momentum going into the end of the year," says Nick Kalivas, vice president of research at MF Global in Chicago.

ISM's index of national factory activity rose to 55.7 in October, the highest level since April 2006, from 52.6 in September. Analysts had expected a reading of just 53.0.

Then, in a separate report, the National Association of Realtors said pending homes sales surged last month.

Pending home sales have now risen for eight straight months, the longest streak since on records dating to 2001, and stand a record 21.2 percent above their year-ago level.

Also a separate report from the Commerce Department that showed spending on construction projects rose 0.8 percent in September buttressed the view that the property sector was stabilizing.

What other economic data should you be watching to confirm or deny that the economy has turned a corner? The Fast Money traders turned to Mark Zandi, Moody's Economy.Com economist for insights.

What does he have to say? Watch the video now!


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Trader disclosure: On November 2nd, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Seymour Owns (AA), (AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (SBUX), (F); Seymour Is Short (FXI); Terranova Is Long (GS); Finerman Owns (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (CLX) ; Finerman Is Long (BAC) Calls; Finerman's Firm Is Long (BAC) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (FLS); Finerman's Firm Is Short (FLS)Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT); Finerman's Firm Owns(NOK); Finerman's Firm Owns (PBR); Finerman's Firm Owns (PDE); Finerman Owns (PDE); Finerman's Firm Owns (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Long (TGT); Finerman's Firm Is Long (WMT); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR); Finerman's Firm Is Short (MDY); Finerman's Firm Is Short (SPY); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IWM); Finerman's Firm Is Short (UNG); Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO)

For Jim Suva
Citi owns (PALM)
Citi Has Received Compensation from (MOT)
Citi Has Received Compensation from (PALM)
(MOT) Has Been Investment Banking Client of Citi
(MOT) Is A Client of Citi
(PALM) Is A Client of Citi
Citi is A Market Maker In Shares of (PALM)
Citi Is A Market Maker In Shares of (RIMM)

For Rich Greenfield
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (DISCA)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (DWA)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (NCMI)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (NWSA)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (CMCSA)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (DTV)
Pali Capital is A Market Maker in (MCCC)

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