Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Jobless caution?

Greetings good citizen,

Given that the markets are so manipulated you can’t tell what’s going on, it is hard to compose a coherent opening statement.

The markets were up (slightly) this morning…but that doesn’t mean anything coming on the heels of three successive days where the market performed ‘vertical take-offs’…only to ‘plateau’ for the remainder of the session. What the hell is that about anyway?

I have a theory what it’s about and it’s a theory that dovetails nicely with the ‘criminal element’ one is likely to encounter on Wall Street…

So, our first offering of the evening is an article from early in the trading day the ‘stupidity index was actually up a little.

New US Jobless Claims Decline

Published: November 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — New claims for unemployment insurance fell more than expected last week, offering some hopeful signs for the job market.

Still, many analysts worry the nation could be in for a “jobless recovery” as the unemployment rate rises despite some overall economic growth. [‘Despite’ isn’t exactly the term I’d use here, it’s not like employers are not hiring because of overwhelming demand, that ‘growth’ they’re referring to is actually microscopic. It’s so tiny nobody has actually seen it!]

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 502,000 from an upwardly revised 514,000 the previous week. That is the fewest claims since the week ended Jan. 3, and below economists’ estimates. [Upwardly revised! Color me surprised…what you have to ask yourself now is if it will still be ‘the lowest since 1/3’ AFTER they ‘upwardly revise’ this week’s number?]

The four-week average, which smoothes fluctuations, dropped to 519,750, the lowest in almost a year. It has fallen by more than 20 percent since its peak in the spring. [Um, excuse me but are these asshats making off like 525,000 claims is a ‘good thing’ or a ‘big improvement’? Nothing like ignoring/downplaying the fact that (new) claims have been IN EXCESS of a half a million A WEEK for ALMOST A YEAR! That’s a far more ‘newsworthy’ story, isn’t it? Worse, it’s a little factoid that nobody is drawing attention to!]

Economists watch initial claims as a gauge of the pace of layoffs. But claims also can provide a signal about the willingness of companies to hire, because laid-off workers able to find jobs are less likely to request benefits.

Many analysts estimate that claims must fall to roughly 450,000 to signal that the economy is adding jobs. [Say what? Er, they have to work a lot harder than that to convince me that 450,000 new claims A FREAKIN WEEK means we’ve ‘turned the corner’ and the economy is ‘adding jobs’ at a brisk enough pace to compensate for the 150,000 new entrants to the labor market every. Hmmn, I want to say ‘month’ here but somehow that doesn’t sound right, given the size of the civilian workforce and all. Does the economy need to add 150,000 jobs ‘a week' to keep up? I think it is per week, there’s no way they can be cool about dropping nearly a half million jobs a week and expect to cover the whole shortfall by adding a mere 150,000 a month, does it?]

The number of people continuing to claim benefits dropped by 139,000 to 5.6 million, also below analysts’ estimates. The figures on continuing claims lag initial claims by a week. [Um, once again you are witnessing a ‘bad thing’ (people exhausting their claims just as hard winter is setting in across most of the nation.) Being passed off as a ‘good thing’ (that the total number of claims is falling…which is only a good thing if people are returning to work, people exhausting their claims is NEVER a ‘good thing’)]

But millions of unemployed Americans have used up the regular 26 weeks of benefits typically provided by states and are receiving extended benefits for up to 73 additional weeks, paid for by the federal government. Congress added 14 to 20 weeks to the extended program last week, the fourth extension since the recession began and the longest total extension on record. [Not to ‘rub salt’ in an open wound but most states, while trying to be more ‘business friendly’ cut the amount employers contributed to the unemployment insurance fund and now those funds are exhausted…so the taxpayer is on the hook for all of these ‘extensions’! Isn’t it time we fixed this problem, once and for all?]

About 4.1 million people were receiving extended benefits in the week ended Oct. 24, little changed from the previous week. [Why should this surprise anyone, a quick glance at the ‘help wanted’ ads tells the whole story…there aren’t any freaking jobs!]

The unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent in October, the Labor Department said last week, as employers cut a net total of 190,000 jobs. That was the highest jobless rate in 26 years. [The part that doesn’t make sense is the 190,000 jobs, which started off as nearly 600,000 but between ‘seasonal adjustment’ and the ‘Birth/Death model’ nearly 400,000 jobs got added back in…fucking liars!]

But the economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter after a record four straight quarterly drops. The disparity between the unemployment rate and economic growth figure has raised fears that the nation’s economy could be in for a jobless recovery. [Repeat after me, a ‘jobless recovery’ is FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE! It can’t happen. It never has and it never will.]

Among the states, Wisconsin had the highest number of additional claims, with 1,501, which it attributed to more layoffs in the construction, public administration and manufacturing industries. Illinois, Michigan, Puerto Rico and Texas had the next largest increases. The state data lag initial claims by one week.

California had the biggest drop in claims, with 6,752, which it attributed to fewer layoffs in the construction and service industries. Florida, Georgia, New York and North Carolina had the next largest decreases.

That concludes tonight’s first offering, the ‘happy story’, if you will, Which is to ask if you are ready for the ‘not so happy’, later in the day post?

I knew you could handle it!

Without further adieu, we arrive at tonight’s second offering

Cautious Investors Send Wall Street Lower

Published: November 12, 2009

Wall Street stocks fell on Thursday as investors reacted with caution to the latest report on unemployment filings and a pledge by President Obama to catalyze job creation.

The announcement of a White House initiative on jobs did not seem to motivate investors, as they dumped shares of energy stocks in response to a decline in the price of oil. Financial stocks also dragged the market lower. [Wait a minute, Slim! Didn’t the market just charge up past the 10,000 mark, driven there by three consecutive days of trillion dollar trading? So, two days after the miraculous rally, all of a sudden investors are supposedly ‘cautious?’ What the hell happened?]

Shortly after the start of trading, President Obama, speaking at the White House before departing for a weeklong tour of Asia, announced that he would convene a summit in December to examine the state of unemployment. Mr. Obama said he was open to any “demonstrably good idea” that would spur job growth. [First he has to ditch the idea of ‘job growth’ there aren’t nor will there ever be ‘enough’ jobs so the only way to ‘crack this nut’ would be to abbreviate the workday/week, in that way multiplying the number of jobs already in existence.]

“We have an obligation to consider every additional responsible step we can to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country,” Mr. Obama said. It really is as simple as cutting the workweek in half, thereby doubling the number of available jobs. Some parts of the labor force won’t respond well to ‘simple doubling’ as the ‘qualified candidates’ don’t exist…yet. But hey, we can easily ‘double’ the workforce the ‘old-fashioned’ way, we give the positions without ready candidates ‘apprentices’, they’ll learn the job by doing it!]

In response, shares on Wall Street made modest gains before retreating. By the early afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 60 points, or 0.6 percent. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500-stock index was down 7.56 points, or 0.7 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 9.88 points, or 0.45 percent. [So we’re left to wonder…why are the markets retreating? The answer is actually fairly obvious, there’s no way (using capitalism) to create the necessary number of jobs, it simply can’t be done without screwing up profits!]

Earlier on Thursday, the Labor Department reported that new filings for unemployment insurance dropped last week to a seasonally adjusted 502,000 from an upwardly revised 514,000 the previous week. [We already discussed this, I just wanted to highlight it again…]

While the broader economy has shown signs of health since the near-collapse of the financial system last year, the United States has continued to grapple with high levels of unemployment. Last month, the unemployment rate reached 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. [The ‘U-6’ crested 17.4% but that still isn’t the 25% seen with a much smaller workforce almost a hundred years ago…which would be like comparing grapes to grapefruit!]

The news that Intel would pay $1.25 billion to Advanced Micro Devices to a settle antitrust and patent disputes sent shares of its rival surging. In midday trading, A.M.D.’s stock climbed 21.2 percent to $6.45, while Intel remained flat.

Other technology stocks were also climbing. Hewlett-Packard’s announcement on Wednesday that it would acquire 3Com, a provider of computer network equipment, for $2.7 billion sent 3Com’s stock up 31.6 percent, though H.P. declined 0.58 percent. [Elsewhere on the web outraged commentators are calling for SEC action claiming obvious ‘insider action’ surrounding the Hewlett/3 Com deal. Worse, Goldman is handling the deal for 3 Com and Hewlett is being ‘assisted’ by Morgan Stanley…]

In early trading, the dollar, which had dropped to a 15-month low a day earlier, showed signs of strengthening. It was trading at slightly more than $1.48 against the euro, which could explain some of the drops in stock prices as investors redirected their funds to currency markets in hopes of strong returns.

Oil fell to $76.96 a barrel, down from $79.28 on Wednesday. [Um, are we really expected to believe the market is THAT nimble? I highly freaking doubt it!]

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, reported on Thursday that its third-quarter revenue had risen 3.2 percent from the previous year, though sales at stores open at least a year fell 0.4 percent. Its stock climbed in early trading, but analysts said its report still raised questions about how much consumers would spend this holiday season. [Seriously good citizen…the consumer is freaking broke, how much does any ‘rational’ person think a tapped out consumer is going to spend? (note the ‘rational person’ qualifier)]

Quincy Krosby, a markets strategist at Prudential Financial, said the market was still hesitant but investors were watching to see if the S.& P. 500 could reach the 1,100-point threshold. That level is significant, she said, because it would mark a return to the days before the financial crisis and could motivate skeptical and otherwise ‘sane’ traders on the sidelines to enter the market.

“This is more of a struggle in the market, an inflection point, as to whether or not investors see the push toward the end of the year has any ammunition,” she said. “It’s psychological. Investors will go in regardless of whether they believe the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” [Which wraps up precisely what the market thinks of investors, that they’re fucking loony!]

In afternoon trading, European stocks were mixed, with the DAX in Germany down 0.1 percent, the CAC in France down 0.2 percent, while the FTSE in Britain up 0.2 percent.

In Asia, where industry and retail sectors have reported strong gains in recent days, markets closed lower. The Nikkei in Japan was down 0.7 percent, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 1 percent.

Not mentioned here because this was posted before the end of the trading day is that NONE of the Western exchanges closed in positive territory today, not one!

Um, fuck good citizen, it hard to sit here day after day trying to wipe the fucking ‘whitewash’ off of every single news story. It gets old really, really quick.

What is far worse is how the bastards consistently try to pass off bad news as good news…mostly because most of you don’t know any better! That’s the hell of it good citizen, that’s the real hell of it.

I had a tiny glimmer of hope come my way today, it’s not a ‘done deal’ yet so that’s as much as I dare say, I’ll know more Monday.

Anyway, thanks for letting me inside your head,


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