1. leading economic indicators.
a. Download the data for new privately owned housing units authorized by building permits from www.census.gov/construction/bps. Choose the seasonally adjusted data for the United States in an Excel format. Graph the “Total” series.
b. Download the last five years of data for manufacturers’ new orders of nondefense capital goods from the St. Louis Federal Reserve site atresearch.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NEWORDER. Graph the data.
c. Locate data for the average weekly hours of production workers in manufacturing, available at www.bls.gov/lpc/lpcover.htm#Data. Select the historical time series link, and then choose the Index data. Choose Manufacturing as the sector and Average Weekly Hours as the measure. Retrieve the report for the past five years. Graph of the data that shows the quarterly trend over the last five years.
d. The data series you retrieved are all leading economic indicators. Based on the tables and your graphs, what is your opinion of where the economy is heading in the near future?
2. Industry analysis Use data from finance.yahoo.com to answer the following questions.
a. Go to the Investing tab and click on Industries. Find the price/book ratios for Medical Instruments & Supplies and for Electric Utilities. Do the differences make sense in light of their different stages in the industry life cycle?
b. Now look at each industry’s price-earnings ratio and dividend yield. Again, do the differences make sense in light of their different stages in the industry life cycle?