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The ISM report surprised mildly on the upside this morning, with a reading of 55.7 that remains well above the break-even point:

ISM090313New orders extended last month's gains to lift the component above 60:

ISM090313A

Export orders continue their gradual recovery from a slip earlier this year and last year's swoon:

ISM090313BAnd import orders suggest strong domestic demand:

ISM090313CSam Ro at Business Insider worries about a slip in the employment component:

ISM090313DI am not sure the the decline is anything more than noise, and I don't think anyone is counting on significant support for non-farm payrolls from the manufacturing sector in any event:

MANEMP090313Bottom line: a generally solid report consistent with expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin tapering asset purchases this month. It is probably time for me to change my charts to indicate timing of first rate hikes in past tightening cycles.

Source: ISM A Solid Start To The Month