Could it be that, despite the deep layers of gloom weighing on the economy in the last several weeks, things aren't falling apart after all? Some signs in recent days have pointed to a resilience many gloomsayers weren't expecting. Corporate earnings haven't been as bad as many predicted. The latest report on industrial production showed a small gain. And car sales, often seen as a bellwether for the nation, continue to point upward. "The low point for car sales was hit in the final quarter of last year," says Joel Pitcoff, research and analysis manager for Ford Motor Co. Whether the upward trend will continue becomes evident Wednesday, when U.S. carmakers report sales for mid-October.
Watch for: A slight weakening from the most recent level, to around an annual pace of 14.3 million cars and trucks. Recently, sales have been stronger than that, with domestic car sales up 1.9 percent for the first 10 days of this month. The sore point has been light truck sales, which fell 10.7 percent in the like period.
NEXT UP: The Bureau of Economic Analysis tomorrow releases state-by-state personal income figures for the second quarter.
MORE EVENTS: The Commerce Department releases figures Wednesday on durable goods orders for September.