The nation's business week, shortened by the national observance of Thanksgiving, finds the economy looking for direction. Despite the lowest mortgage rates in four decades, housing construction declined last month. Hiring for the next quarter is projected to be flat as the nation's manufacturing sector continues to contract rather than expand.
The economy in Rural America has been subdued for much longer than the rest of the nation. But Thanksgiving remains a special time of the year as the autumn harvests near completion.
Even with an early thanksgiving it appears the nation's autumn harvests are virtually complete. The nation's soy and rice harvest has been in the bin for more than a week. And on the eve of Thanksgiving, 97 percent of the nation's corn crop has left the field.
Much of it may been headed abroad. Markets traded higher this week on rumors of stronger foreign demand.
Slug: cotton harvest
In the south and west 86 percent of the cotton harvest has been completed, well ahead of the historic pace.